The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 29, 2016

Male Figure, late 1800s-early 1900s

wood, fabric, shells, beads, feathers, resin, glass, twine or cord, Overall: 42.00 x 11.80 x 23.00 cm (16 1/2 x 4 5/8 x 9 inches). René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.433

Its size, facial features, feather headdress (as worn by a local nganga or ritual specialist), and hangings of cloth seem to indicate that this nkisi figure in Vili style belongs to a type called nduda. However, while the hangings incorporate the typical shells, trade beads, knotted cloth strips, and small horns filled with medicine, they do not include the central symbol of the classic nduda: "night guns," small grass tubes extending from clay or resin and loaded with gunpowder that was discharged against witches. Unless its guns were lost during the course of its life history, this nkisi may instead be an example of a more general type called mpanzu, whose functions included protection and self-defense.

The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/27/2013 - 02/09/2014); "Fragments of the Invisible: Delenne Collection of Congo Sculpture"

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