Nail-studded figure, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1880-1920

Made:
1880-1920 in Democratic Republic of Congo
maker:
Bakongo people

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Nail-studded container for nkisi force, carved wooden figure with mirrored container, Bakongo people, west-central Africa, 1880-1920

A carved wooden figure with the body covered in nails, used as a container for the nkisi force. In BaKongo belief, an ancestor or spirit is named as the nkisi force and harnessed in a container for use in healing. Nails hammered into this figure make the nkisi force active.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A197491
Materials:
cloth, iron, wood
type:
statue, nkisi
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture
status:
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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