African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo Fetish

Figure de pouvoir Nkondo Nkisi (N° 15033)

Fetishes of power in African art Kongo
Among the Kongo, the nganga se charged rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkisi (pl. minkisi). The term nkisi ft then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most influential category of U.S.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.

Juché on a discoid base, a figure with a bleached face with a dagger representation in his raised hand. Its bust is dotted with multiple nails and coiled cords, in the center of which the glass cavity or bilongo , encrusted with seeds of abrus, contains a magical charge composed of various ingredients, organic, plant or mineral. The glass-encrusted eyes, with the black pupil, indicate the vigilance of the mind, a sharp foresight capable of probing the afterlife and reflect a threat to the contrary forces.

The Kongos (also known as Bakongos , which is the plural of N'Kongo in kikongo) live on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean of Black Point Africa, (Republic of Congo) as far south as Luanda (Angola) and as far as bandundu province (Democratic Republic of Congo). From the second half of the 20th century, minkisi minkondi strategically placed along the coasts of the kingdom Loango to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "u-0022 and "master", supreme arbiter of conflict and protector of communities, and which became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.  

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Originex-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, plant fibre
Weight7.10 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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