Figure (Nkishi)

late 1800s-early 1900s
Overall: 22.4 x 10.7 x 12.4 cm (8 13/16 x 4 3/16 x 4 7/8 in.)
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Description

The substances contained in its cloth-covered cranial cavity indicate that this half-figure belongs to the broad category of charms or “power objects” that the Luba call mankishi. It was used by a ritual expert and functioned in a variety of rituals dealing with healing, protection, divination, or jurisdiction. Often such power figures were carved by the ritual experts rather than by professional artists.
Figure (Nkishi)

Figure (Nkishi)

late 1800s-early 1900s

Africa, Central Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Luba-style maker

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