African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kongo Gourd

Bakongo powder container (N° 20938)

The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed the naturalistic statuary and religious rites, in particular by means of carved nkondo nkisi fetishes. Piriform container with a cap, for powder, therapeutic ingredients or ointments. It is surmounted by a seated female figure, finely sculpted. It is probably the symbol of the mythical ancestor associated with fertility cults. Juxtaposition of decorative motifs engraved on the walls of the object. Matt patina. In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the 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 called ntotela, controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials. The nganga, at the same time healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through consecrated figures called nkisi.
Ref : "La Maternité dans l'art d'Afrique noire" Massa ; "l'Art tribal d'Afrique noire" Bacquart.  

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Originex-collection belge
EthnyBakongo
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height21
Width11
Weight0.03 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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