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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Statue of Congo

Fétiche Kongo Nkondi Nkisi (N° 18783)

Kongo African tribal art sculptures are illustrated by different expressive postures. The gesture opposite reflects a warlike and aggressive attitude, confirmed by the presence of multiple nails and blades with apotropaic but also offensive aim. The figure's physiognomy reinforces the threatening expression. The elements bilongo conferring additional powers to this statue are placed in the abdominal cavity which is obstructed by a mirror. Satin patina, abrasions and erosions of the base mainly.

Among the Kongo, the nganga performed rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the notions of "sacred" or "divine". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments designed to help regional chiefs enforce the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, each nail evoking a particular case: parties in dispute, divorce, conflicts between communities, etc. The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement to resolve the conflict was enforced and that individuals feared the consequences of their behavior. Its appearance thus personified the force residing there. From the second half of the twentieth century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coasts of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "king" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre. Source: "the Kongo gesture" Ed. Dapper Museum
Source: "le geste Kongo" Ed. Dapper Museum

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Originex-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, verre, plant fibre
Weight4.75 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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