The Voodoo Of Voodoo Dolls

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It is easy to look back at history and see a clear pattern and relation between different cultures, objects, rituals, etc. When you take a deeper look into origins, you’ll often be surprised by what you find. Minkondi (plural for nkondi), are sculptures made and used in the 19th century by African cultures. They served a very specific purpose and had a very sacred importance. The Nkisi Nkondi functioned as a hunter-healer of conflicts. The people would take their worries, requests and fears to the figure to call on the spirits. Voodoo dolls on the other hand, are often misunderstood and misrepresented. The Voodoo doll is a ritualized way of calling on spirits to target a specific person. The doll can be used a number of things including luck, power, love and most commonly recognized, for evil and harm. The Nkisi Nkondi sculptures and Voodoo dolls, even though they are from different cultures and time periods, have a number of similarities and one may have influenced the creation of the other. “Nkisi” refers to the spiritual being of the figure, and “nkondi” comes from the word konda, which means to hunt, refers to the figure itself. Minkondi, representative of hunters, can catch those who undermine the frame of society. The Nkisi Nkondi is typically shaped in a human form. There are few Nkisi Nkondi that are shaped like dogs, which were seen as sacred animals. The Nkisi Nkondi weren’t literal representations of the spirits that they called on. The way the figures were

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