Figure - Iron, Wood - Minkisi-Nkondi - Mayombé - Congo DRC

Figure - Iron, Wood - Minkisi-Nkondi - Mayombé - Congo DRC
Mid 20th century - Good

A Nkishi style figure from the Mayombe

H= 58 cm. Wood, glass eyes and in the belly .A lot of metal inserts, and little textiles containers filled with magic healing herbs.

Those Nkishi figures where made to protect a village.

Provenance: From the collection of an Antwerp painter in the 1970's he got it at Amberes.

Nkondi are minkisi power figures with nails , blades, and other materials driven into them. Healers drive nails into the figures each time they need a petition for help, healing, or witness, particularly of contracts and pledges. It is believed it is inspired by the Portuguese missionaries who brought images of Christ nailed to the cross and the martyr Saint Sebastian to the peoples of Central Africa as early as the XVIth century, and experts believe that this iconography has influenced the Nkisi tradition.

The nkondi figures eyes and the medicine pack that coversthe belly contains reflective glass or mirrors, to be used for divination. The Nganga Magician use the mirrors to look into the world of the ancestors. .

BW picture: The house of the Nganga around 1910

This is a very nice looking and quite convincing Nkishi from a nice size. According to my expertise it is dating from the mid-XXth century or later and this figure was probably made for decoration and not to be used in a ritual.

Lot details
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Congo DRC
Iron, Wood
Mid 20th century
Sold with stand
58×20×17 cm
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