BAKONGO FETISHES 3, CONGO

Old Bakongo fetishes are rare. Despite their appearance, these figures show little evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

Bakongo
Fetish 37
28" high
$1500
 

Bakongo
Fetish 34
23.5" high
$800

 

Bakongo
Fetish 40
29" high
$1500

Bakongo
Fetish 30
27" high
$800

 Bakongo
Fetish 11
12" high
$200

Bakongo
Fetish 56
15.5" high
$450
 

Bakongo
Fetish 54
23" high
$450

 

Bakongo
Fetish 48
23.5" high
$600

 

 Bakongo
Fetish 50
25.5" high
$400

 Bakongo
Fetish 58
14" high
$350

 Bakongo
Fetish 57
10.5" high
$160

 

 Bakongo
Fetish 55
11" high
$150

Bakongo
Head 1
9.5" high
$800

Photographs © Tim Hamill

BAKONGO, , NKONDI FETISH FIGURES 3, Congo

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, larger ones would protect an entire village. Covered with bags of magical herbs and studded with blades and nails, which, when driven in, activated its spiritual power. The mirror on the abdomen covers a filled cavity and reflected back evil spirits.

Old Bakongo fetishes are very rare. Despite their appearance, these fetish figures show no evidence of age or use and were probably made to be sold.

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