African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo figure
Kongo Nkisi figure (N° 13433)
African art Kongo.
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The bilongo elements conferring additional powers to this pair of nkisi statuettes are hidden in a reliquary that closes a cauri on the abdomen and in the back of their seat, sealed by a mirror. Additions of metal, in the form of fine tips, participate in this action defensive or offensive. The caps consist of animal skin on which remains a coat and a red cotton headband. The teeth are traditionally filed down and the trance glance, able to discern the hidden things, is expressed by pupils visible through splinters of glass. Satin patina encrusted with matte particles. The magical "bilongo" ingredients were frequently hidden in the receptacle on the abdomen of the figure which was otherwise sealed by a mirror. The Nganga wizards, both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through these consecrated figures. Aggressive witchcraft kindoki is the absolute evil that must be fought. To this end, nkisis protective figures are manufactured and loaded by the nganga of all the necessary ingredients to achieve this goal. It is not the morphology of sculpture that determines its use, but all that is added to the receptacle built for that destination. Source: "The Kôngo gesture" Ed. Dapper Museum.