Objects/Paintings/Power Figures


The term nkisi is the general name for a spirit, or for any object that spirit inhabits. It is frequently applied to a variety of objects used throughout the Congo Basin in Central Africa thought to contain spiritual powers or spirits -- often also called “Power Figures”. The term and its concept have passed with the slave trade to the Americas, especially Latin America. The Reflection so Healing Power Figures represent containers from episodes of engaged residents acting out a contemplative exercise in portraiture that manifested as a reflection of community. By being crafted by participants the Bobby Hutton Power Figure, like all collaborative nkisi, are community monuments not only filled with the spirit of the dead, but the energy of the living.