Power figure



Hutchings only ever bought this one Tio (Bateke) nkisi power figure during his term as Keeper of Ethnography at the museum. This was because he considered “fetish” figures, as he called them, to be the “only important art productions of the Bateke.” He overlooked a split on the side of the figure’s head when he bought it, because he saw it as a sign of its age and authenticity. In a memo to the museum’s director he wrote, “the last thing we want from the Congo is to be offered a new piece!”