H: 70 cm (2' 4")
Congo, mid 20th century
A peculiarity of the Congo Basin are the so-called nail fetishes. In their function, they often correspond to the protective or holy figures of Christian and other religions. The magical figures usually do not show special care and technique in their artistic design. Often, the head of a figure is well and subtly crafted, while the body is roughly or without style control carved. The facial features of the "fetishes" usually reflect their area of responsibility, the monganga doctor figures have calm and balanced faces, while the konde figures sometimes have repulsive faces. This power figure has brass inserts with protruding pustules on the forehead, nose, chin, and back, making it easy to recognize that the purpose of this statue was to heal the prevailing smallpox epidemic at that time.
Published in the book: "DIE SAMMLUNG Gerhard F. Vesely", page 233
Provenance: private collection, Paris
Estimate: € 8000 - 12000