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Global Antiques and Fine Art

HUGE (54 inches) Authentic African magic protection nail statue from Bakongo NKONDI Nail Fetish Figure w/ COA Vintage Ritual Piece 4 feet 6"

Regular price $1,249.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $1,249.00 USD
Sale Sold out
Authentic HUGE (4 feet 6 1/2 inches tall!) antique (mid 20th Century) African (Democratic Republic of the Congo) BAKONGO NKONDI NAIL FETISH FIGURE. This Bakongo peoples, hand-carved wood power figure, called a nkisi nkondi, is carved in the likeness of a human being which symbolizes its purpose, as each nkisi nkondi has traditionally been of service in human affairs. Wrapped in cloth, innumerable nails have been driven into the form over time. Each nail represents an occasion when two or more parties met to come to an agreement, make peace, settle an argument, investigate or solve a problem that had troubled villagers. Hand carved from a single piece of wood, with color pigments nails and glass eyes. Made of carved wood, mirror glass, pigment, iron nails, cloth, plant fiber. Size: 54.5" H x 13" W (138.43 cm x 33.02 cm)

Power figures like this have traditionally been used during judicial procedures of the Kongo peoples. In addition to settling legal disputes, nkisi nkondi have traditionally been used to protect a village, demonstrate innocence or guilt, heal the ill, and put an end to disasters. The types of nails or blades used reflects the kind of agreement made or the severity of the offense.

This particular example is quite dramatic. The visage is quite expressive peering out from reflective glass eye sockets which represent the "other world" where spirits of the deceased reside and a slightly opened mouth, suggesting prayer or chanting. Said spirits are thought to peer through the eyes and identify enemies and guilty parties. He is wearing a hat, carrying a spear in his raised hand, has been "provoked" with a maze of nails, is embellished with various kinds of metal and textiles and has glass eyes. This particular fetish is used by individuals, families, or a community to protect them from a number of evils and illnesses and to solemnize oaths and agreements. A holy person would activate it through the use of invocations and provocations so that it would gain power.

Statue in overall vintage condition with wood pitting Abrasions and old patina. Age commensurate weathering to the wood.

Provenance: Comes Certificate of Authenticity-


Released from private collection that has sold in New York City galleries as well as top auction-Guaranteed Authentic

All items legal to buy/sell under U.S. Statute covering cultural patrimony Code 2600, CHAPTER 14, and are guaranteed to be as described or your money back.

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