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BaKongo Male Power Fertility Brass Figure

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BaKongo Fertility
12.00 LBS

Product Description

The Kongo empire was one of the most dominate and renowned powers throughout precolonial Africa. By the end of the 16th century the empire was fragmented and weakened by internal struggles, external invasions and by the constant assault of slave dealers and traders. Today the Kongo are found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, The Congo Republic, Angola and Gabon. The Kongo decedents are divided into a great many subgroups notably the Woyo, Msundi, Yombe, Villi, Lemfu, Mpangu and Bwende. Every Kongo group has many cults and societies that revolve around their strong beliefs in supernatural forces and spirits of the dead. Their diverse ritual pieces are some of the most magically powerful and important art produced on the continent. The relations between the living and which lies beyond are harmonized by ancestral spirits, natural spirts (bakinda), local spirits (bisimbi) and ambivalent forces (minkisi). These supernatural entities are evoked by the village Nganga and elders. They are often asked to heal, to empower, to ensure success to bless and to protect individuals or the entire tribe. Magical substances or medicines called "bilongo": blood, hair, bones, feathers, earth, metals, shells, fiber twine, clay, nails, seeds are used singularly or in combinations to empower ritual objects.

BaKongo statuary such as this was presented to or commissioned by a well respected powerful tribal elder or dignitary. Tremendous care went into the creation of this object. Adorned in brass bands, plates and studs, decorated with tribal scarification, some raised in bas relief, some indented all joined to form a body encasement minus the soles of the feet. The brass metal used denotes wealth and importance but most importantly the brass serves as an strong conduit between the living and the dead. The figure, strong in body, heavily scarified, purposely carved with fully exposed, well endowed genitalia, with an open arm stance embracing the tribe, represents the ideal BaKongo male fitness and BaKongo male sexuality. An intimidating almost supernatural face with exaggerated ears, pronounce deep set dead eyes and an eerie full toothed mouth all serve a warning to this individuals power.

This figure was proudly on display and paraded around the village during times of celebration but primarily housed by the owner to thwart degeneration. Crafted sometime in the late 20th century to be modest, the statue over time has achieved variations in patina; minor chips, scratches and abrasions. 

Please click photo for enlargement and other photos.


Materials: Wood, brass

Dimensions:  19 inches across the wing span x 25 1/2 inches tall x 6 inches deep.

Date: Late 20th century


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Fixed shipping for domestic orders only!



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