A Nicobar Island figure and an African fetish figure.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Nicobar Island figure is a Kareau figure of carved and painted wood, anthropomorphic, representing standing male with wings and top hat, from the Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal, India, 1880-1825. The fetish figure is from the Congo, in central Africa, probably made by the Maycombe tribe, 1880-1920. It is a carved wooden figure, male, with the body covered in nails, and a mirror on the front. Nails are driven into the effigy during the appropriate ceremony or ritual with the intention of causing disease and death, or to drive illnes from the part of the body in which the nail or nails are inserted.