Kongo People Fetish Portrait with Ngilingili Bundle, Congo #246

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  • Kongo People Fetish  Portrait with Ngilingili Bundle, Congo #246
  • Kongo People, Wood Fetish with Bundle, from DR Congo, carved wood with dark and light brown patina, trace white pigment, glass eyes, twine-wrapped bundle, the female figure with upright coiffure, deep set glass eyes and open mouth with exposed teeth, on long slender neck ending in Power Bundle.
  • Measurements: 16"h x 6"diameter 
  • Condition: Good, attractive aged patina, small loss to tip of hair, hairlines and indentations throughout, dirt accumulation on fabric.
  • Age: approx Mid 20th Century
  • Provenance: A Private Collection: East Hampton, New York
  • The top of the is head/ hair-style is remarkable. The frontal hollow formerly  contained a hardened paste, of which portions still remain, forming a  coiffure embodying the Fetish Force or Power of which the Figure was the Vehicle, and which was known as Ngilingili. This was of the most varied composition, but often contained elements of Magic, supposed suited to the function of the Fetish as "Avenger", or "Dispenser of Justice".
  • “In figures of Animals and Men, the Ngilingili was often attached to the head, but usually in a conspicuous addition in the form of a Casket (or Bundle), one or possibly several, to the belly or the chest.
    These Figures were in fact the Holders or Vehicles (Conveyance) of the Fetish Power, whose Essence was in the Ngilingili, and without the addition of the latter (the  Ngilingili), the Figure had No Power.
  • The Ngilinigili Casket (Bundle), as well as the Fetish Headdress, are the Power Centers for the Figure.
  • To the Equipment (Expression, Enhancement), especially of the Fetishes which were represented in Human Form, belong (are used) Looking Glasses or even bits of Ordinary Glass which were inlaid in the force container on the belly, or in the breast, head, back, or eyeholes. Thus, through the introduction of European goods, Fetishism was enriched with a new idea; Fiends and Ghosts, which in fact cannot. endure anything shining, or miscreants (Guilty Party), catch a glimpse of themselves in the reflecting or glittering surface of the fragment, (and) are terrified thereat and flee”- Pechuel-Loesche, pp. 365-366