Kongo figure in landmark show at the MET
by Entwistle on 28 October 2015
The traces of a missing beard on the face are a sign of seniority which survive in the form of nails along the contours of the chin. There are also vestiges of an abdominal cavity for medicinal matter that originally attracted the figure’s defining force.
The various metals embedded in the figure’s expansive torso and other parts of its body attest to its central role as witness and enforcer of affairs critical to its community - they document vows sealed, treaties signed, and efforts to eradicate evil. Ultimately, this work inspired reflection on the consequences of transgressing established codes of social conduct.
In the October 12, 2015 issue of The New Yorker magazine, Peter Schjeldahl writes the following review: