Tribal art > African Statues > Kongo Fetish
Statue Nkondi Solongo (N° 19787)
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Power betiches nkonde in African art.
This naturalistic figure has an oval face characteristic of the Solongo of Angola, the latter supplying the Kongo clans. The glassy gaze of the pinheaded wards is wide open, which "constitutes the prerogative of an elder. Indeed, only the middle-aged can stare at us with such insistence in order to alert us to problems or blunders." ("The Kongo Gesture")
Placed on the abdomen, in a quadrangular cavity sealed with glass, various ingredients constitute a magical charge.
Matt, grainy patina, clay residue.
In the Kongo kingdom, the nganga performed rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was later used to refer to notions of "sacred" or "divine". The most influential category of "minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to assist regional chiefs in enforcing the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, with each nail evoking a particular case: disputing parties, divorce, conflicts between communities...
The nkondi thus wanted to ensure that the agreement that was to resolve the conflict was enforced, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behavior. His appearance thus personified the force residing there. From the second half of the twentieth century, minkisi minkondi were strategically placed along the coast of the Loango kingdom to protect against European incursions. Among the most powerful, the Mangaaka was considered the "king" and "master", supreme arbiter of conflicts and protector of communities, and which became the most ambitious and monumental sculptural genre.
Source: "Le geste Kongo" Musée Dapper.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, metal, plant fibre, textile|
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