Gourmet Fair

Critic’s Choice: The World of Kongo

With a Gourmet Gazette Slideshow

Fetich of the Vili known as the Nkissi Nkonde in wood, metal, glass, fabric and kaolin, circa late 19th-early 20th century. (Democratic Republic of the Congo). Private Collection, Paris. Photo Courtesy Galerie Bernard Dulon. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France — Magic boxes, supernatural power, fetiches. A magical world is unfolding at the Bernard Dulon Gallery on the Left Bank of Paris in an exhibition entitled Kongo until July 31st. The show offers a journey into the Land of Kong, a vast empire in southwest Africa that once stretched from the banks of the Congo River from present-day Angola to the Republic of the Congo. It was a land peopled by myriad ethnic groups like the Vili, the Yombe, the Bembe, the Bwende and the Teke whose societies were organized around sacred rituals revolving around ancestor worship. So if you can’t be in Paris right now, The Gourmet Gazette brings the show to you.

A Ntadi maternity statue of the Kong people in stone, circa 19th century. (The Coqui region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Photo Courtesy Galerie Bernard Dulon. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The rich culture of these peoples have been brought together by the Parisian gallery owner Barnard Dulon who is showcasing some 20 magical objects including figurines pierced through with nails carrying containers filled with medicine. These are objects devoted to the protection of individuals or groups that intervened in various situations that punctuated the lives of the communities like initiation rites, marriages, births, deaths and healing.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette

A Gourmet Gazette Slideshow

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