Bakongo Power Figure - D.R. Congo

Wrapped with ritual charges, this power figure, or nkisi, is an example of perhaps the most widely recognized form of Kongo art. Minkisi are effigy figures containing the absorbed powers of magical substances, and are used as hallowed propitiatory items for success in ceremonial acts. The multicolored, eroded surface of this figure lends it an otherworldly air that speaks well to the metaphysical planes from which it issued information back to its creators.

Exhibited in Forms of Expression: African Masks and Sculpture, Harold Washington Center, Chicago, 1993.


Bakongo
Wood, fabric, natural pigment
Late 19th or early 20th century
Collected pre-WWII, Dr. Mouchette, Brussels; ex private US collection
#179
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