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.
Related Themes and Topics
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