Power figure (nkisi)

late 1800s-early 1900s
Location: not on view
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Different from other Minkisi who hold their power in their abdomen, this figure sits atop a sphere in which the active substances still reside.


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 asymmetrical figure wears a mpu headdress of chiefs with its characteristic geometric decoration. The pose may refer to a state of mourning.
Power figure (nkisi)

Power figure (nkisi)

late 1800s-early 1900s

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

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