Nkisi-noganga (woman) – D.R. Congo


The nkisi are carved wooden figures from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and related to the Bantu tradition.

In the case of the nkisi-nganga, these are sanitary fetishes.

The figure is considered the link between a person and a tree, the wood from which it was used to create it. The totem / tree connection is the way by which the person relates to the forces of nature, through the spiritual work of a shaman. The healer uses it to extract from the patient the malignant spirit considered the cause of his illness.

The nkisi may belong to different types, spiritual, healing or with the two particularities. Its usefulness depends on the work of two men, the craftsman who makes the carving and the sorcerer who introduces the magical substances in the reliquary and carries out a ritual ceremony that gives them his supernatural powers.

The shamans are skilled and great connoisseurs of fauna, flora, tribal history, psychology and the social imaginary.

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