product description

A Rare Bakongo Nkondo Fetish Power Figure

A rare Bakongo Nkondo Fetish Power Figure, originating from the Congo region and in near original condition with original  glass eyes and centre "window", nails & rods, fabric "possessions" covered parcels and tied bags linked with fabric ties,  the raised arm missing its spear or club. Superb, original patina and colour throughout.
Approx Size: Ht. 14ins x  L.9 ins x  D.7 ins (36cms x23 cms x 18cms) 

Price £12,000.00

Background.  Such figures as that here originated from the Congo and in past times were regarded as superstitious "junk" by Europeans. However in recent years these figures have become amongst the most important works of African Art partly because of their meaning and their expressivity.

Briefly, Nkondo represent the seat of powerful beings from the other world, reputably  ancestors who, after spending time in the world of the dead, now concern themselves with their kin in the world of the living.

Nkondo are/were used for divination and healing purposes, their effectiveness being dependant on ritual specialists (i.e. witch doctors) who charge them with powerful forces according to the problems to be solved. the forces within the figure are activated and controlled by nails and other pieces of iron that are driven into the figure while scraps of material, rope etc on the nails indicate why the forces have been activated and against or in favour of whom.

Many of these figures were destroyed by the Colonial authorities as a result of Christian Missionary influence and fine examples such as this are now rarely found outside of Museums.