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Mace and Helen Katz Neufeld Collection

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Image of Nkisi (Power Figure)

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Bookmark: http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145938



unknown Songye
Primary



Nkisi (Power Figure)

19th century - 20th century
Carved and painted wood, metal, glass, and textile

10 3/4 in. x 3 3/8 in. x 3 3/8 in. (27.3 cm x 8.5 cm x 8.5 cm)

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: 99.3.122
Other Number(s): 103 (234) (Neufeld Collection Number)
234 (Sotheby's Lot Number)
Geography: Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Classification: Ceremonial and Performance Artifacts; Ritual Objects
Culture/Nationality: Songye, Congolese, Central African, African
Collection: Neufeld Collection

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • African - Refers to the cultures of the continent of Africa, which is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea.
  • carvings - Refers to works executed by cutting a figure or design out of a solid material such as stone or wood. It typically refers to works that are relatively small in size, are part of a larger work, or are not considered art. For large and medium-sized three-dimensional works of art, use the broader term "sculpture" or another appropriate term.
  • Central African - Styles and cultures from a wide region of Africa that straddles the Equator and is drained largely by the Congo River system.
  • Congolese - Nationality, styles, and cultures of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • fetishes - Objects believed to be enchanted, or have magical power to aid or protect its owner.
  • minkisi - Sculpture used to contain potent medicines that are associated with spiritual or healing power, often taking the form of carved wooden figures or assemblages of objects, such as bundles, shells, pots, and amulets. Originating in the Congo region of Africa, their use in divination, protection, and healing rites has been carried to Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, and the American South.
  • ritual objects - Objects used for a particular ritual activity, often as part of a ceremony.
  • sacred objects - Broadly, ceremonial objects that retain their sacredness in their present context. Sometimes defined more narrowly as only those needed by a present-day culture to practice their religion. For objects that are used primarily for a religious ceremony or function, but are not necessarily in themselves considered sacred, use "religious objects."
  • Songye
  • wood - The principal tissue of trees and other plants that provides both strength and a means of conducting nutrients. Wood is one of the most versatile materials known.

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image 99.3.122_BMC_ed.jpg
99.3.122_BMC_ed.jpg
Additional Image 99.3.122_BMC_f.jpg
99.3.122_BMC_f.jpg

  • Owner Name: Mace Neufeld and Helen Katz Neufeld, Class of 1953
    Role: Donor
    Place: Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, US
    Ownership End Date: 12/17/1997


Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Important Tribal Art Sotheby's . New York, NY, 1989
    Figure Number: 234
  • "African Heritage Document and Research Center." (Accessed June 11, 2020): AHDRC.eu. Record No.: 0040793.

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Monica Blackmun Visona and Robin Poynor. A History of Art in Africa (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2001), 412. Figure Number: 12-19
  • "Dayton Art Institute Collection HIghlights." (Accessed May 15, 2020): http://www.daytonartinstitute.org/art/collection-highlights. Accession No.: 2007.114–2007.116.
  • "The Met Online Collections Database." The Met Collection. (Accessed April 9, 2020): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/. Accession No.:1978.409.
  • Francois Neyt and Hughes Dubois. FÉTICHES ET OBJETS ANCESTRAUX D’AFRIQUE | AFRICAN FETISHES AND ANCESTRAL OBJECTS (Milan, Italy: Five Continents Editions s.r.l., July 2013), 202-203.

Related Bibliography List
The following Related Bibliography exist for this object:
  • Monica Blackmun Visona and Robin Poynor. A History of Art in Africa (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc., 2001), 412. Figure Number: 12-19
  • "Dayton Art Institute Collection HIghlights." (Accessed May 15, 2020): http://www.daytonartinstitute.org/art/collection-highlights. Accession No.: 2007.114–2007.116.
  • "The Met Online Collections Database." The Met Collection. (Accessed April 9, 2020): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/. Accession No.:1978.409.
  • Tom Phillips, ed. Africa: The Art of a Continent (Munich; London; New York: Prestel Verlag and Royal Academy of Arts, 1999), 283. Figure Number: 4.55
  • Jean- Baptiste Bacquart, The Tribal Arts of Africa (New York, NY: Thames & Hudson, 1998), 168-171.
  • Dunja Hersak, "Reviewing Power, Process, and Statement: The Case of Songye Figures." African Arts 43, no. 2 (Summer 2010): 38-51.
  • Christopher D. Roy, "African Art in the Stanley Collection." African Arts 16, no. 3 (May 1983): 45, Figure Number: 18.
  • "ÌMỌ̀ DÁRA." (Accessed May 10, 2020): Imodara.com. https://www.imodara.com/discover/dr-congo-songye-nkisi-power-figure-kalebwe-ya-ngongo/.
  • Constantine Petridis, Art and Power in the Central African Savanna: Luba, Songye, Chokwe, Luluwa (Cleveland, Ohio: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 2008), 67-88.

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=BMC>cite web |url=http://triarte.brynmawr.edu/objects-1/info/145938 |title=Nkisi (Power Figure) |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=12/2/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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