Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Yombe Power Figure Nkisi Nkonde Fetish Africa 24 Inch

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $420.00 Regular Price $650.00
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Title Yombe Power Figure Nkisi Nkonde Fetish Africa 24 Inch
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Yombe or Bakongo
Materials wood, pigment, cotton cloth, unknown elements in charges
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Height (in) 24
Width (in) 8
Dimensions Height: 24 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Overall Condition Fair.   Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair Chips and minor cracks

Additional Information: An impressive standing figure, neck and body covered in cloth and other offerings. This is a Nkisi-Nkonde (or Nkisi Nkondi) figure from the Yombe of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has a lot of presence and would add a unique piece in a collection.

Nkisi-The best known of Kongo art is the nkisi, a term which is untranslatable, 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 nkonde, 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 nkonde 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.