African art > Fetish > Kongo Fetish

Statue of Nkondi Nkisi Congo (N° 14544)

The nganga , sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through figures, mostly consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi. These tribal statues have a magical charge usually housed on the abdomen behind a mirror closing the cavity. This copy, embodying a powerful figure, wearing the leader's headdress, adopts a posture that demonstrates determination. A miniature couple, in an offensive attitude, is strangely supported by one leg, the second being folded. The figure lying on the ground symbolizes the subsubjecting of evil powers. Around the neck and hips of the effigy, different "gris-gris", metal, vegetable fibers, dried seeds, various textiles, bells and cords.
With the Kongo, the nganga took on the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to help regional leaders 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: litigants, divorce, conflicts between communities... The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement to settle the conflict was properly implemented, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behaviour. His appearance thus personified the resident strength. From the second half of the 20th 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 "roi" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflict and protector of communities, and which became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.
Source: ", the gesture Kongo" Ed. Dapper Museum

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Originex-collection espagnole
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, fibres et seedsvégétales
Weight2.95 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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