Global Art & Artifacts

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

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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.


This mask as sold.  Thanks C.R.


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