Democratic Republic of the Congo
Late 19th century
Carved wood, glass and pigments
Height: 6 ¾ in – 17 cm
Ex collection Richard de Saint-Alphonse, Paris
Ex collection Christine Valluet & Yann Ferrandin, Paris
Ex collection Chambers, USA, acquired from Galerie Valluet in 1999
Ex collection Mark Eglinton, USA
On the occasion of the 2015 exhibition Kongo: Power and Majesty, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Alisa LaGamma noted that "the most influential class of Kongo minkisi often took the form of formidable wood figures bristling with added hardware.[...] Along the coast, from northern Angola to southern Gabon, they were known as mbau, or 'ready to fight', while in the interior as far as Kinshasa they were called n'kondi (pl. minkondi), or 'hunter'.
The miniature power figure presented here is imbued with both strength and sensitivity.