Two Headed Animal Nail Fetish African Kongo Nkisi
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Two Headed Animal Nail Fetish African Kongo Nkisi:
J0510 - This is for some very unusual very old piece and not something you see every day! I did as much research on this as i could so hopefully i have it listed correctly!
African Kongo/Yombe Nkisi Two Headed Animal Nail Fetish
Wood carving Power Figure
Ethnic Group: Yombe
Country of Origin: DR Congo
Material: Wood, Metal Nails, Cotton Cloth, Glass, Pigment
Appx Age: Mid 20th Century
Dimensions: 25" long x 10" wide x 9" tall to tallest nail
There is another of these listed on , but this one has many more nails, and is much larger than the one listed. Mine also has the glass dish in the center of the item.
Overall Condition: Good. Being that this item is well over 100 years old, maybe even 150+ yrs old, it is in pretty decent shape. The bottoms of the mouths were broke off, one is glued back on, the other is not. But not a big peice is gone, you can still tell it is the mouth. You can see in several of the photos. The center of the item has a glass dish which i am not sure if it is used for a candle, or for making potions, or for mixing stuff during ceremonies. The little tiny circles around the glass have red dots on them, some of the red has faded away. I do not know what that portion represents. The bottom of the item seems like one foot is gone, but it sits straight, there is a hairline crack in the wood, but normal for the age of the peice. There are several nails in this, i doubt you could squeeze another one in. The woven cotton is braided thruout the peice and is just beautiful. The following information i found on the internet:Nkisi-The best known of Kongo art is the nkisi, a term which is untranslateable, but which refers to carved figures which are used for dealing with problems "ranging from public strife, theft and disease to the hope off seducing women and becoming wealthy." (AFRICA_THE ART OF A CONTINENT-Guggenheim Museum.) An nkisi generally contains relics from someone who has died, or clay from the cemetery. It also contains medicines. When there are nails or blades protruding, it is called an nkondi, which means "the hunter." The nkonde are the most powerful of the nkisi. They were used to identify and hunt down unknown wrongdoers such as thieves, and people who were believed to cause sickness or death by occult means. They were also used to punish people who swore false oaths and villages which broke treaties. To inspire the nkondi to action, it was both invoked and provoked. Invocations, in bloodthirsty language, encouraged it to punish the guilty party. It would also be provoked by having gunpowder exploded in front of it, and having nails hammered into it. They were also used to literally "hammer out agreements"...with clear implications as to what would happen to people who broke the agreements. The nkisi are used by their owner or the nganga (sorcerer/spiritual specialist) to please the different spirits who are supposed to regulate the world. (TRIBAL ARTS OF AFRICA-Bacquart) When a nganga believes that a figure has lost its power, it is discarded and may be sold.
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