Power Figure (Nkishi)
Arts of Africa
On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
To judge by the proliferation of tacks on this nkishi, its function was probably to protect the owner and his or her family from smallpox, a disease widespread and greatly feared in this period.
Wood, glass beads, fiber, cloth, copper alloy
Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
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Songye. Power Figure (Nkishi), 19th century. Wood, glass beads, fiber, cloth, copper alloy, 8 1/2 x 2 3/8 in. (21.5 x 6.0 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1460. Creative Commons-BY
overall, 22.1460_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Wooden figure; soft wood. Fetish. Standing and profusely covered with upholstery tacks, striped cloth, covering fetish material, elaborate necklace of brass beads.
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