Global Art & Artifacts

Old Tribal Bakongo Double-Faced Mask with Fetish / Nkisi Nails and Head Cap. Manyanga Tribe. Kongo Kingdom. DRC. Africa

Click the photo above for a larger version and more pictures

 

 

The Manyanga tribe live on the right bank of the Zaire (aka Congo) River. The location is near the tributary of the Lefini River.

 

This is a relatively unknown tribe whose artists are known for their elongated faces, rounded cheeks, carefully rendered faces and nails.

 

This is a fetish that primarily functions to drive away sorcerers, witches and very evil spirits. In this case, the twin- or double- faces add to the power of the fetish . . . and the pigment color enhances those powers even more.

 

Carved from a single piece of wood with color pigments, cloth, nails and other embellishments. A heavy woven fabric (that can be weighted so it sits behind the mask) acts like a hood. A ring of woven grasses forms a ring below the shins. On the forehead are two small boxes on the crown that are filled with medicine and closed with glass/mirror.

 

I was told that this mask was brought to the Netherlands in the late 1950s by a missionary family. It has been in the Netherlands until I acquired it recently.

 

Rare and old, suitable for the Serious Collector. Stand not included.

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