Bashikongo, Kakongo), Angola and Democratic
Republic of the Congo
Power figure: nkisi. The Kongo may number about three million people.
Present in three countries the Kongo occupy the region at the mouth of the Congo River.
Numerous subgroups go to form the vast Kongo cultural complex, among which are the Vili,
the Woyo and the Yombe. Among the Kongo people the king holds political, judiciary, and
religion power. He makes decisions about warfare, regulates commerce with foreign
countries, and receives tributes from his vassals. When he renders justice, he is seated
on the skin of a leopard, wears a hat and a necklace of teeth, and holds a commanders
stuff and a fan. Despite the kings conversion many years ago the Kongo people held
on to their ancestral worship and traditional beliefs. The nkisi statues were
designed for the individual or the family. The nkisi were supposed to protect their
owners health and transmit to him the vital strength with which they were endowed.
The owner could give them offerings to escape from difficult situations.
Material: wood, horns, rope, textile, fiber, shell, seeds
Size: 28x 7½x10