African Tribal Art Bakongo / Yombe Nkisi Nkondi Fetish Figure
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African Tribal Art Bakongo / Yombe Nkisi Nkondi Fetish Figure :
African Tribal art Bakongo / Yombe Nkisi Nkondi fetish figure
BaKongo peoples (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Yombe: one of the BaKongo tribes
A ‘nkisi’ is loosely translated as a ‘spirit’
An interesting form of a ‘nkisi’ figure is be found in a ‘nkisi nkondi’, a power figure with magical charms carved in the likeness of human being, which highlights its function in human affairs. A nkisi nkondi can act as an oath taking image in resolving verbal disputes or lawsuits (mambu) as well as an avenger (the term nkondi means ‘hunter’) or guardian if sorcery or any form of evil has been committed.
The figure offered for sale is a very well carved Yombe fetish figure with a superb head with open mouth and protruding tongue. Has a pronounced protrusion from the stomach which is the key part of the figure, and the source of its power. Known as a bilongo box, this contains magical materials contained behind a glass covering to focus its power. On his back the figure has a magic bag with feathers protruding. Dates to the Mid 20th century but may be earlier.
Dimensions: 38cms x 19cms x 15cms
Condition: Some aged related shrinkage splits but otherwise in great condition. See photographs which form part of the description. This figure is very well executed and has a great character. Provenance: part of a collection of Tribal Art consigned to an sale sale in Edinburgh, Scotland.