Medicine man's bag, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1870-1920
This reliquary from the Ogowe River Basin in Gabon in Africa contains the bones and relics of a venerated ancestor who was said to be a much feared traditional healer – once referred to as a ‘medicine man’ – of the M’Boio tribe. At times of need a community might bring together all its reliquaries in the belief that their combined power would offer greater protection against an ongoing or expected danger, such as disease.
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Glossary: human remains
term created as part of the NMSI human remains policy (from April 2007); Other terms used are 'blood' and 'human hair'
Glossary: medicine man
Glossary: bag - container