I currently do not have a Kongo nail fetish figure in my collection. On now and coming soon Exhibitions Displays Courses. Harn Museum, University of Florida, cover, p. Or, a blade could be driven into the figure to activate its magical powers. They are believed to invest the fetish figure with power and make it possible for the devotee to establish contact with the spirit. Figure Nail fetish. Generally grouped as Nkisi, they were the result of the combined work of two men, the carver and the fetishist.
As with the Nkonde, they had a cavity in their back or stomach which held "medicines" and magic substances placed there by the fetishist.
Bemba African fetish statue from Congo DRC (ex Zaire) 10-160
They were made to be used, not for display, the British museum noted. This figure is unusual in that the left arm appears to have been removed or amputated, with a resinous bundle and a series of small blades inserted at the tip. Kongo power figures, nkisi, were used in cooperation with a spiritual healer, nganga, to invoke positive and negative forces on behalf of a client seeking his services. The Kongo may number about three million people. The Monacelli Press; Washington, D. Nkondi, like other minkisi, are constructed by religious specialists, called nganga plural zinganga or banganga.