Sacred medicines and divine protection are central to the belief of the Kongo peoples (D. Rep. of Congo). The Kongo believe that the great god, Ne Kongo, brought the first sacred medicine (or nkisi, plural: minkisi) down from heaven in an earthenware vessel.
Minkisi can be represented as small bundles, shells, carved wooden or metallic figures. Medicinal combinations called bilongo are sometimes stored in the head of the figure but frequently in the belly of the figure.
Seeds may be inserted to tell a spirit to replicate itself. Claws may incite the spirits to grasp something while stones may activate the spirits to pelt enemies or protect one from being pelted, such as in this case with an Iron ore stone inserted in the belly.
Minkisi represent the ability to both ‘contain’ and ‘release’ spiritual forces which can have both positive and negative consequences on the community.
Provenance: From the private collection of a French citizen, after have it inherited from his late grandfather, who worked as chief engineer in the mining company "Compagnie minière de l'Ogooué" (COMILOG) developing infrastructure around the Franceville region in the 1950s.
- Total nr of items
- Rare Iron Bakongo Power figure (Nkisi n’kondi) With Iron Ore Charm In The Belly - DRC - Congo
- Indigenous object name
- Power figure (Nkisi n’kondi)
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- Congo DRC
- Iron, Iron Ore
- 1st half 20th century
- Fair condition, used with visible signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 11×5×5 cm
- 290 g