An African Kongo Peoples Magical Carved Wood Figure ‘N’Kissi’

An African Kongo Peoples Magical Carved Wood Figure ‘N’Kissi’

1800 to 1900 Democratic Republic of the Congo

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An African Kongo Peoples Magical Carved Wood Figure ‘N’Kissi’
Fetish material now missing that was once attached to the front of the torso and the arms
Old brown shiny patina
Late 19th Century

Size: 15.5cm high – 6 ins high
Provenance: Ex Walter Potter Museum of Curiosities, Bramber, Sussex, England
Ex Jamaica Inn Museum, Bolventor, Cornwall, England
Previously referred to as ‘power’ or ‘fetish’ figures these N’Kissi are in fact the physical container for a spirit from the other world, the land of the dead. When activated by a ‘Nganga’, a specialist sorcerer or shaman, the figure has the power to heal, to protect or to punish. In order to activate these forces the Nganga provokes the figure by insulting it, singing to it or creating an explosion with gunpowder in front of it.
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