African art > Statues > Vili Fetish
Kongo/Vili Nkisi fetish statuette (N° 17964)
The statuette with a bulbous abdomen containing a magic charge could be included in the category of therapeutic fetishes. The amalgam or bilongo introduced consisted of various ingredients from the natural environment including red clay, red wood powder tukula, white clay pembe... , but possibly human fragments such as teeth, nails, hair. This fetish of conspiracy was supposed to influence the health, prosperity, enemies of its holder. Among the Kongo, the specialist named nganga , took charge of the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the terms 'sacred' or 'divine'.
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The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo were the Kôngo group, led by king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade.
The protective fetishes for housing are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men, bulwark against diseases and evil spells. Large, nkonde , nkond i, are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to individuals. Ref. : " Masterpieces of African art Larousse (p.82); The Kongo gesture Ed. Dapper Museum.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, metal, textile|
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