Figurine

Figurine

late 1800s-early 1900s

Wood and various other materials

Overall: 17 x 7 x 6.5 cm (6 11/16 x 2 3/4 x 2 9/16 in.)

René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.437

Fun Fact

The nduda minkisi were loaded with gunpowder and/or medicine to protect their owners and to shoot “witches” and other enemies.

Description

One of seven anthropomorphic figurines, these minkisi contained medicines in which an ancestral spirit was believed to reside. The medicines served a metaphorical rather than literal purpose in the resolution of conflicts among Kongo people. This figure contained white- and red-colored medicine loads on its belly and back. Its pose may refer to the nkisi’s capacity to see more than others.

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