Container for nkisi force, carved wooden statue with upraised arm, BaKongo people, west-central Africa, 1890-1910
A carved wooden figure with an upraised arm, used as a container for the nkisi force. In BaKongo belief, an ancestor or spirit is named as the nkisi force and harnessed in a container for use in healing. The threatening look of this figure shows the power of the nkisi – to seek out the cause of illness, fight it and protect from future harm. The figures become active when bilongo (medicines) are added and the ancestor or spirit enters the container.
- Ethnography and Folk Medicine
- Object Number:
- visual and verbal communication
- Loan, Wellcome Trust
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
View manifest in IIIF viewer
Download manifest IIIF
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.