Yanzi Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
height 13in (33cm)
Wood, glass, fiber, and other miscellaneous organic materials
Private Collection, Germany
Private Collection, New York
"Yanzi figures are Teke-like, but they are generally more elongated and angular. The shape of the bundle attached to the figure often indicates the sculpture's function. The bundles contain magical substances and can be used to protect the owner from harm or evil, or assist in other activities, including pregnancy." (Bacquart, 1998: p 132)
The present work has finely carved facial features and the bundle is large and round, encompassing the entire torso and continues around the legs. The outside is hard and heavily encrusted illustrating a good deal of cultural use and age.