African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Vili fetish
Kongo Vili fetish (N° 20355)
This fetish with several heads symbolizing the ominivoyance is equipped with a resinous mass in which a magic charge is imprisoned. The object may have been designed for therapeutic purposes or as a protective figure against witchcraft.
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The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the Kôngo group, led by the king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture related to their worldview.
Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili broke away from the Kongo kingdom in the 16th century and the Loango kingdom became a powerful state. Now urbanized for the most part, they nevertheless still integrate traditional associations, dependent on ancestor worship such as the Mbouiti or the Bieri.
The sorcerers nganga , both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through consecrated figures. To this end, individual protective figures nkisis, to protect against witchcraft and various plagues, are made and loaded by the nganga with all the ingredients necessary to achieve this goal.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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