BAKONGO FETISH 59

Photographs © Tim Hamill

BAKONGO
FETISH 53
11.5"
$160
SOLD

Authentic Bakongo fetishes are very rare. Despite its appearance, this fetish figure shows no evidence of age or use and was probably made to be sold.


Fetishes were protective figures used by individuals, families, or whole communities to destroy or weaken evil spirits, prevent or cure illnesses, repel bad deeds, solemnize contracts or oath-taking, and decide arguments. A diviner or holy person would activate the statue, using magical substances. Fetishes gained power and were effective because people believed in them.

Small Nkondi figures were family owned and were used to protect the home. they were covered with bags of magical herbs and studded with blades and nails, which, when driven in, activated its spiritual power. Mirrors on the abdomen covered a filled cavity and reflected back evil spirits. Larger figures were community owned and served to protect the entire village..

Old Bakongo fetishes are very rare. Despite its appearance, this fetish figure shows no evidence of age or use and was probably made to be sold.

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