African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo
Statue of Congo Nkondi Nkisi (N° 18423)
This anthropomorphic sculpture accessorized with different elements added by the nganga is endowed with a magical ventral charge (bilongo). The glazed eyes symbolize foresight. Miss. Crusty patina.
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These sculptures, anthropomorphic or zoomorphic, have long been classified as vengeful spirits, but their function is much more ambivalent. It is when the nganga completes the sculptor's achievement by pushing the nails into the nkonde that he acquires his magical charge. Its action is not a secret, its mission is on the contrary public. Once the evils and their culprit are determined, the nganga activates the strength of the nkonde by planting a nail or an iron blade, witnesses of the demand and especially of the agreement reached between the nganga and its client... often seen as malicious, these statuettes have the essential role of restoring social harmony, disturbed by the harmful intentions of a third party. The ABCdaire of African Arts. Flammarion The Vili, The Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo , led by King ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade. Similarly, beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their worldview. Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili broke away from the Kongo Kingdom in the 16th century and the Loango kingdom became a powerful state. Now urbanized for the most part, however, they still incorporate traditional associations, dependent on the cult of ancestors such as the Mbouiti or the Bieri. The sorcerers nganga, both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi by the help of consecrated figures. To this end, protective individual figures nkisis, to protect themselves from witchcraft and various plagues, are manufactured and charged by nganga from all the necessary ingredients to achieve this goal.
Litt. The Kongo gesture Ed. Dapper Museum.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, metal, plant fibre, cauris|
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