African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Statue Kongo Nkisi Nkondi zoomorph (N° 13348)

African art Kongo and its spiritual receptacles
This zoomorphic figure borrows the traits of a chimpanzee and has a protective function, in Kongo tribal culture, against witchcraft. It is referred to as the U-022nkisi" object because the cylindrical receptacle on its abdomen is packed with magic ingredients "bilongo" (organic and plant matter). It is blocked by a mirror on which colored pigments and a resin have been applied. The animal is shown with hands clasped around a fruit, arms resting on the cavity of the bilongo. It is probably missing in the eye the pupils and shards of glass constituting the famous Kongo look indicating an extralucid ability, a vision of the afterlife. Cracked base. Satin patina on which libations have left dull and grainy deposits. In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by a council of tribal governors. This king, also known as ntotela , controlled the naming of court officials and the provinces. The sorcerers nganga, both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation with the God called Nzambi through these consecrated figures. Aggressive witchcraft kindoki is the absolute evil that must be fought. To this end, nkisis protective figures are made and loaded by the nganga with all the ingredients necessary to achieve this goal. It is not the morphology of the sculpture that determines its use, but everything that is added to the receptacle built for this destination.  

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Originex-collection Devrindt
EthnyKongo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, verre, resin
Height39
Width18
Weight2.80 Kg

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