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Power statue (nkisi), sitting man

Yombe [people]Late 19th – early 20th Century

MAS

MAS
Antwerp, Belgium

To the Kongo, the 'minkisi' are personalized powers from the invisible land of the dead. Those who call upon the minkisi expect support in their adversit, whether an unsolved crime (a theft, for instance), an illness or a death attributed to hidden powers or witchcraft. In general they are divided into two types on the basis of their function: aggressive 'minkisi' hunt and punish wrongdoers; benign 'minkisi' promote the common good and the fertility of women and crops.

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  • Title: Power statue (nkisi), sitting man
  • Creator: Yombe [people]
  • Date Created: Late 19th – early 20th Century
  • Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Physical Dimensions: height: 42cm – width: 16.5cm – depth: 15cm
  • Subject Keywords: Ethnographic collection
  • Type: Figure
  • Medium: Wood, iron, horn, raffi, cotton, bone, cord, resin, fibre, claws, pigment, glass, gourd, mirror glass
  • ID: AE.0612
  • Department: Ethnographic collection – Africa
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Henri Pareyn (1920)

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