Figure 1. Nkisi figure. Museum No. Photograph by Victoria Hobbs. Copyright Horniman Museum click image for larger version.
Fetish Figures Of Equatorial Africa
African Sculptures - Ceremonial, Fertility and Fetish Figures | Ecalpon.com
EWE Fetish Figures 1. FON Bocchio Posts 1. EWE Fetish Archives. FON Fetish Figures 1. FON Fetish Figures 1 The fetishes below have been sold and are left here for reference and educational purposes.
Kongo Nail Fetish Figure
Nail fetish figures - Boma, Congo Nkondi or Nkonde nail fetish The plural form is minkondi and minkisi Fetishes were protective figures used by individuals, families, or whole communities to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking, and decide arguments. A diviner or holy person would activate the statue, using magical substances. Fetishes gained power and were effective because people believed in them. The nkondi are the most powerful of the nkisi.
Nail fetishes are a unique and important phenomenon of Kongo sculpture. In the Kongo, all these fetishes are called nkisi. Historically, there were two types of nkisi, public and private, with some having vital democratizing roles, as sources of empowerment for rural residents and individuals outside the court. In order to face certain trials illness, conflict, sterility, sorcery, etc , the Kongo take recourse in this type of object.