Democratic Republic of Congo
Wood, cloth, fetish material.
9.5″ Tall (30.48 cm)
Jean Pierre Hallet Estate Collection – California, USA.
This Suku fetish figure (as called in older literature) or power figure, is attributed to the Suku/Yaka people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is an implement that would generally be used by diviners in the healing and protection rituals they held. They were however used by individuals, families and entire villages too in the fight against evil, to destroy or weaken and evil spirits that were present, to help prevent and even cure sickness, to solidify contracts or agreements between tribes people, and to repel bad deeds.
The Suku like other African tribes are bound to a strange relationship with power figures, as they can be an ally or an enemy. The negatives are, they can be used to invoke illness, to harm or to take revenge by those who have been wronged. They are normally used in this fashion against ‘witches’ or ‘sorcerers’. On a positive note, they are generally used as a form of protection from misfortune, to heal and to bring success