African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yombe statue
Kongo Nkishi Yombe ritual figure (N° 20501)
Tribal statue previously consecrated by the priest nganga whose abdominal cavity has ritual elements in the form of thorny branches. The charge or bilongo is indeed composed of various ingredients from the natural environment: clay, red wood powder tukula , white clay pembe... , but possibly human fragments such as teeth, nails or even hair.
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This conjuring fetish, represented perched on a turtle symbolizing wisdom, prudence and longevity, was supposed to counter adversity.
The headdress is characteristic of the statuary of Beembe and Yombe, other tribes of the Kongo group.
Among the Kongo, the specialist named nganga ,was in charge of rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to refer to the notions of "sacred" or "divine."
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men, a bulwark against diseases and bad spells. The large specimens, nkonde , nkond i, are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.
"Le Geste Kongo" ed. Musée Dapper
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, textile, metal, plant fibre|
|Estimated dating||2ème halfxx°|
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