African art > Statues > Statue of Congo
Statue of Congo Vili Nkondi Nkisi (N° 18320)
The statuary of African tribal art Kongo is illustrated by different expressive postures. The gesture against would reflect a warlike and aggressive attitude, confirmed by the presence of multiple nails with apotropic but also offensive aims. The elements bilongo conferring additional powers on this statue are placed in the abdominal cavity that is obstructed by a mirror. The dagger is also missing. The face of the Nkondi reflects an aggressiveness reinforced by the open mouth and the large dark pupils.
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Shez the Kongo, nganga se charged rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the terms of 'sacred' or 'divine'. The most influential category of '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 resolve the conflict was properly implemented, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behaviour. Its appearance thus personified the force residing there. From the second half of the 20th century, minkisi minkondi reved strategically placed along the coasts of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the 'king' and 'master', supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and who became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.
Source: 'The Kongo Gesture' Ed. Dapper Museum
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|Material(s)||wood, metal, textile|
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