African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yombe statue

Yombe Nkisi fetish statue (N° 20845)

The tribal fetishes of the Kongo kingdom have a magical charge generally lodged on the abdomen behind a mirror closing a cavity. The character with realistic features is depicted in a determined frontal posture, hands on the hips. The eyes with pinhead pupils are inlaid with glass in reference to the visionary and divinatory abilities. Satin yellow patina. Damaged base. Abrasions.
The nganga , sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through this type of figures, most often consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi .
The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rites, particularly by means of carved fetishes nkondo nkisi.
Among the Kongo, the nganga performed rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to refer to notions of "sacred" or "divine". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to assist regional chiefs in enforcing the law. Beginning in the second half of the twentieth century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coast 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 became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.


Source: "le geste Kongo" Ed. Musée Dapper
 

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OriginEx-collection italienne
EthnyKongo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, textile, verre
Height66
Width20
Weight3.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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