H : 76 cm. Wood, fibres and iron
Dapper - Paris
This statue, whose head has been coated with clear pigment
and whose body is trapped in a gangue of cloth and fibres, is pierced all round
the reliquary placed on the abdomen by a multitude of different blades. Each of
these corresponds to litigation during which the magic powers of the objet were
invoked to find a settlement. Made for the community to seal its pacts,
alliances and reconciliations, this statue is called a "nkonde" and
owes its powers to the magic charm enclosed in the mirrored reliquary by the
nganga (medicine man). The aspect of nkondes changes little: warriors they are
depicted brandishing an arm or with hands poised on their hips. The face, which
is treated with realism, presents the eyes opened wide and the tongue sticking
out through sharpened teeth. The terrifying aspect evokes the punishment which
will be dealt to those who violate their oath.
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