This discussion board posting is on Nkisi Nkondi (power or hunter) figures. Do the reading in the order listed so that you have proper background for McClusky’s essay.
1. In the pdf chapter of Kampen O’Reilly “Africa” from Art Beyond the West read pp. 241-242. This is in the Module 4 folder.
2. Pamela McCluskey “The Fetish and the Imagination of Europe: Sacred Medicines of the Kongo,” in Art from Africa: Long Steps Never Broke a Back. Seattle Art Museum/Princeton University Press, 2002, pp 143-167. This essay is in pdf form in the folder.
Discussion board prompt:
What was or is the function of nkisi nkondi figures? Do the sources given here give the same definition or are they different, and if so, what are the differences? What is difficult to understand about these images given our cultural background? In your own cultural background, have you been exposed to objects with similar significance? Can you think of any objects that appear in popular culture in our society that are also similarly misinterpreted and make viewers uncomfortable? How did she relate the slave trade to the collecting of African objects? What else did you find particularly interesting or noteworthy in McCluskey’s essay?