Nkisi Nkondi. Healing / Power Figure Kongo People, Bantu. DR Congo. 40” tall. Shell, Horns, Feathers, Hair, Rope, on Gourd Form

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Nkisi Nkondi
Healing / Power Figure
Kongo People
Bantu
Congo , West Africa
20th century
40” tall x 16” diameter

Collected by naturalist and philanthropist, Eli Weiss in the 1980’s.

Nkisi Power Figure with Feather Headress, Large Shell on Chest, Tgree Large Horns on Large Gourd Form covered with woven fiber and Adorned with Rope, Hair , Feathers, Beads and Shells.

Affected aging. Some natural splitting in wood.
Raised arm , steel spikes and knotted rope.
Glass shielded and vacant cavity in abdomen.
Impressive size. Shows handsomely.

The Kongo people, a Bantu ethnic group spread across present-day Congo regions, boast a vibrant artistic heritage, notably seen in their diverse figurative sculptures known as Kongo figures. These sculptures encompass various types, each serving distinct purposes within the Kongo culture. Power Figures, referred to as nkisi or nkondi, possess spiritual abilities, utilized for healing, protection, and justice by containing sacred substances in their abdomens. Ancestral Figures act as intermediaries between the living and the deceased, positioned on ancestral altars for guidance and protection. Additionally, Kongo figures serve as Shrine Objects in spiritual practices, placed in sacred spaces dedicated to spirits or deities, facilitating rituals and prayers. The Bakongo Villi Miniature Figures, associated with a subgroup, depict daily life, community roles, or ancestral lineage, utilized in personal devotion or as cultural symbols. Interpretations of these sculptures vary based on cultural and individual beliefs within the diverse Kongo society.

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