Nkisi nkondi Power figure

Nkisi nkondi
Type: figure
Exhibits: Cycle of Life
Tribes: Congo peoples
Location: The Democratic Republic of Congo
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Bags, Glass, Iron Nails, Pigment, Wood

Nkisi nkondi Figure used for healing, taking oaths or sealing agreements. Nails or blades were hammered into it to seal a vow, or to awaken the spirit's power within to solve a problem or dispute. This Janus face represent youth versus old-age, or male-female symbolizing the circle of life. Janus figures were considered especially effective for their ability to anticipate danger from any direction. The materials used in the Nkisi were minerals collected from various places associated with the dead ancestors such as earth from their graves or riverbeds. White clay was also very important for it symbolic relationship with the dead, as well as their moral rightness and spiritual positivity. White contrasted with black, the color of negativity. Red is symbolic of the life force (nyama). Janus-faced figures related  to ritual, magical and religious efficacy. They were invoked, as well in times of distress, such as death of a leader, sickness, danger, hunger or infertility. 

Nkisi nkondi Power figure
Nkisi nkondi Power figure
Nkisi nkondi Power figure
Nkisi nkondi Power figure