Container for nkisi force with feather headdress, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1890-1925

Made:
1890-1925 in Democratic Republic of Congo
maker:
Bakongo people

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Carved wooden statue, male, standing on a tortoise, decked with feather headdress, encrusted with "medicine" and with
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Carved wooden statue, male, standing on a tortoise, decked with feather headdress, encrusted with "medicine" and with
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Container for nkisi force with feather headdress, Kongo people, Republic of Congo/ Democratic Republic of Congo, 1890-1925

A carved wooden figure with a feather headdress, 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. The feather headdress is a military symbol for the fight against illness. Containers in human form are not an image of the spirit thought to be inside – instead they represent the power of the nkisi force.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A658216
Materials:
feather, mirror, glass, resin, wood
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture

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