late 1800s-early 1900s
Wood and various other materials
Overall: 11.5 x 4.5 x 4 cm (4 1/2 x 1 3/4 x 1 9/16 in.)
René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.443
Different from other Minkisi who hold their power in their abdomen, this figure sits atop a sphere in which the active substances still reside.
One of seven anthropomorphic figurines, these minkisi contained medicines in which an ancestral spirit was believed to reside. The medicines served a metaphorical rather than literal purpose in the resolution of conflicts among Kongo people. This asymmetrical figure wears a mpu headdress of chiefs with its characteristic geometric decoration. The pose may refer to a state of mourning.
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