Ex. Belgian African tribal art collection.
This type of bell, an emblem of dignitary power, was used during the manipulation and activation of a Nkisi by the diviner or Nganga. The sides are incised with geometric shapes.
The music produced by the bell is said to appeal to the spirits.
These objects are found in the Khimba initiation society or the peacemaking association lemba with a figure bent forward at the top of the bell.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé, and the Kôngo formed the Kôngo group, headed by the king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture related 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, they nevertheless still integrate traditional associations, dependent on ancestor worship such as the Mbouiti or the Bieri.
Ref : "L'Art africain" ed. Mazenod; "Trésors d'Afrique" (p.309) ed. Musée de Tervuren; "Art tribal d'Afrique noire." JB Bacquart; "Umbangu, Art du Congo au Musée Royal du Congo Belge" ed. Cultura.
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