AFRICAN FETISHES

 

 YAKA
Fetish
Figures 4

 YAKA
Fetish
Figures 4

EWE
Fetish
Figures 1

EWE
Fetish
Figures 1

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 

 FON
Bocchio
Posts 1

  FON
Bocchio
Posts 1

  FON
Bocchio
Posts 2

 

 FON
Bocchio
Posts 2

 SONGYE
Figures 2
Catalog

 SONGYE
Figures
Catalog

BAKONGO
Power
Figures 3

BAKONGO
Power
Figures 3

BATEKE
Fetish
Figures 1

BATEKE
Fetish
Figures 1
 

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 BATEKE
Fetish
Figures 2

  BATEKE
Fetish
Figures 2

 FON
Fetish
Figures 1

  FON
Fetish
Figures 1

GAN
Fetish
Figures

GAN
Fetish
Figures

 BAULE
Mbra
Monkeys

 

 YAKA
Fetish
Figures 1

 YAKA
Fetish
Figures 1

  YAKA
Fetish
Figures 2

  YAKA
Fetish
Figures 2

 YAKA
Posts
Catalog
 

 YAKA
Fetish
Figures 3

EWE
Fetish
Figures 1

 EWE
Fetish
Archives

TOMA
Fetish
Objects

KISSI
Fetish
Objects

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

 FETISHES
Various
Tribes

BAKONGO
Animal
Fetishes

 
 
BAMANA
Boli
Catalog
 

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

A fetish is a statue or object with magical power, like an amulet, talisman or good luck charm. In traditional, tribal Africa, especially in Zaire, these beliefs are manifested in some of the most expressive and magical power figures ever created. This exhibit brings together the relics of many peoples, all used for specific functions, usually to conjure away evil spirits or attempt to control one's destiny.

Common to many tribes was the belief that the fetishes acquired power through the ritualistic carving and consecration, the addition of special substances and the recurring activation of its spirit by offering sacrifices and magic words. Some fetishes have the heads or stomachs hollowed out to hold special substances; some have mirrors to reflect back evil or to blind hostile spirits; some are Janus-figures for better vigilance and protection. Among the materials added to the wood figures are horns, shells, nails, feathers, mirrors, metal, twine, paint, cloth, raffia, fur, beads and herbs; anything thought to add power or magic.

If you are looking for a particular tribe or object please check our Indexes by Tribe, by Object
or by Material.

GO TO FETISH! EXHIBITION PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN FETISHES PAGE

GO TO FETISHES (VARIOUS TRIBES) PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN ANIMALS PAGE

GO TO ARTIFACTS PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN FIGURES PAGE

GO TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE

GO TO NEW ADDITIONS PAGE

HOMEPAGE

 Index by
TRIBE

 Index by
OBJECT

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