Trivium Art HistoryThemes in Art


Nkisi sculptures are small human or sometimes animal figures made of wood, metal and bone. Nkisi were commonly found in Congo Basin in Central Africa. Most were the result of a partnership. A sculptor, working with a Banganga, or spiritualist, would create the form and wrap or embed it with spiritually charged substances, fruit, mushrooms, and certain minerals. The form was then imbued with a spirit or spirits, becoming a portable grave that allowed conversation, supplication, and negotiation with the spirit.

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Nkisi, called 'Chingunge N'


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