Skip Navigation

Power Figure (Nkishi)

Arts of Africa

On View: African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor

The Tetela and the Songye are closely related groups who make figures for personal religious rituals. Carving styles and materials for these figures are as diverse as their individual functions. A figure may be used to cure illness, bring wealth, or ensure good hunting. This figure includes fur wrapped tightly around its body and a horn from an antelope projecting from its head.

CULTURE Tetela
MEDIUM Wood, fur, hide, fiber, horn
DATES early 20th century
DIMENSIONS 17 in. (43.2 cm)  (show scale)
COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
ACCESSION NUMBER 72.102.4
CREDIT LINE Gift of Fernandez Arman to the Jennie Simpson Educational Collection of African Art
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
CAPTION Tetela. Power Figure (Nkishi), early 20th century. Wood, fur, hide, fiber, horn, 17 in. (43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Fernandez Arman to the Jennie Simpson Educational Collection of African Art, 72.102.4. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 72.102.4_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Human figure completely covered except for head. Body fully enveloped with fur, hide and bound in rope. Head has conical headdress.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (83%)
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.