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Power figure (nkisi)

late 1800s-early 1900s
Overall: 17 x 7 x 6.5 cm (6 11/16 x 2 3/4 x 2 9/16 in.)
Weight: 15 kg (33.07 lbs.)
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Location: not on view

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


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.
Power figure (nkisi)

Power figure (nkisi)

late 1800s-early 1900s

Africa, Central Africa, Republic of the Congo, Kongo-style maker

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