African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bakongo figure

Bakongo figure (N° 21763)

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Statuette symbolizing the ancestor of the clan, perched on a turtle. The Kakongo (sing: Bakongo) used this type of sculpture to come into contact with their ancestors. The representations are often associated with proverbs or sayings only known to initiates. The turtle could in this case be associated with an emblem of the clan.
Satin black patina. Eroded parts.
The Vili, Lâri, Sûndi, Woyo, Bembé, Bwende, Yombé and Kôngo made up the Kôngo group, led by king ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the trade in ivory, copper and the slave trade. The Bakongo live on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, between Zaire and the Republic of Congo. In the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary endowed with a codified gesture in relation to their vision of the world. Among the Kongo, the nganga was responsible for rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. Nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to designate the notions of "sacred" or "divine". Ref. : "Art and Kongos" M.L. Félix  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm25
Width7 cm
Weight0.29 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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