How is a doll powerful? What facets of humans are represented, which are excluded? just how does segmenting a body affect the representation of a body? Cropping a body draws attention to details body parts. Exactly how are these parts chosen? carry out they vary through the function of the doll?

I have singled out particular important components of the body, and the body together a whole, come examine. However, the slim quantity and quality of information in the Nkisi is far greater 보다 in the regular Voodoo doll. Arms, legs, stomachs, and also even belly buttons and also toes are extensively carved and also designed in Minkisi. Because that the Voodoo doll however, the kind is far much more anthropomorphic in terms of proportions and realism, but the information is far lesser. There appears to be more of one "artistic license" v the Minkisi, together they space a container because that spirits, whereas the Voodoo doll deserve to sometimes it is in tailored to represent specific person. Therefore, due to their function, the depiction of body components is altered.

Heads: "The dominance of head and also shoulders in representation occurs ot such a level that one assumes the this region of the body has some necessary truth the a person"s being" (Bailey 2005).

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Minkisi: The Nkubulu Nkisi, which could be used to detect witchcraft or healing headaches, often had a wild hairstyle. This, in accordance come Bailey"s point, put the emphasis on the bodily part of the Nkisi that it intends to affect in its subject. However, a sculptor"s desire for recognition likewise comes into play, as unsual Minkisi are deemed more remarkable and attractive.

Voodoo doll: virtually all Voodoo dolls have a kind of colourful turban on their heads. While this may in component be a practical selection (no require to add hair, bland with excessive care) it is also a social indication. Countless women top top the West shore of Africa (where numerous slaves originated from) have a culture of wearing wrapped cloth approximately their heads. The resemblance in between the turban top top the Voodoo doll and also the one worn by these females is striking. Thus, the hat intends to anchor the doll in a particular social context. Various colours, textures and also lengths deserve to also assist to identify the target person.



Faces: when a body is loosely designed, together the majority of Voodoo dolls" and also Minkisi"s are, the challenge becomes crucial in its importance. Even if the confront does not stand for a certain individual, a confront makes the doll an i can identify individual. Facial characteristics, specifically eyes, give the figurines a much more "human" aspect. And also when the face directly identify someone, that Nkisi or doll becomes a clear miniature of a live human. This directly affects the method someone treats a doll, and probably bring out an ext powerful emotions about it. I think this to be demonstrated in class, as soon as the challenge of a classmember was stuck top top the head of the Sarkozy Voodoo doll. Once the doll got back to me, Harrison distinguishable (the brave volunteer) did have multiple pins stuck in "him", consisting of one in the middle of "his" forehead. However, he to be unable to "self-poke", as were number of other civilization in the class, indicating the a face is indeed one of the most an effective features the identification.

Minkisi: Often, a Nkisi is developed without straight representing anyone. However, paint frequently covers its face, and the customer who desire to usage the strength of the Nkisi must subsequently paint his or her face with the exact same colours. The confront of a Nkisi is therefore unchanging and fixed, and also a human must it is adapted to it. In many ways, this provides humans a feeling of gift ephemeral when the Nkisi stays constant throughout the births and also deaths the humans.

Voodoo doll: In Louisiana voodoo, some machines put a face on the doll, when others leaving it empty for the user come do. This gives more power to the user, and also removes the voodoo doll indigenous its society context, enabling for much more individual strength as protest to a societal power. In regards to the Voodoo doll, the face seems crucial. I, and also many various other willing pokers, had actually no problem stuffing needles into Sarkozy"s body. However, if the confront was not that of the French President, yet of one"s mother, father or loved one, exactly how would that impact your communication with the doll?

Body shape:

Minkisi: Body posture is really contingent on the kind of Nkisi concerned. The Nkondi, hunters, often have aggressive postures, such together a stuck the end tongue or bared teeth. Plenty of Nkondi likewise have your hands on your hips, in a defiant posture. However, the somewhat fragile materiality of the Minkisi is also a aspect in the creation-- hands on hips are less likely to be reduced off inadvertantly.

Voodoo doll: Usually, the form is ill-defined, except at the waist. Numerous of the Voodoo dolls have string pulled taught at this area of the body, most likely to emphasize human body shape and feminity. The eight stick out, in an awkward scarecrow-like manner, probably to captivate the fist of the spirits and a potential client. That is additionally a very, open receptive position, signifying that the doll is open to posession. There is no actual bodily shape; the garments define the shape. Hence all the towel is long and also covers the body, the rope is what decides the locations to it is in emphasized. Having actually a rope stuck roughly a doll, again, might be a useful thing but additionally sends earlier to problems of control and also domination.

Size: according to Bailey, when an object is made minature, that is much better able to enter the an individual sphere the the person handling it. When that object is a person, and also thus the person body, this takes on a much larger meaning.

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Minkisi: The most important and an effective Minkisi, especially the hunter Nkondi, were larger in size.

Voodoo doll: The Voodoo doll is much smaller 보다 the average Nkisi.

Gender representation:

Minkisi: The bulk of Nkisi is male, although mrs forms additionally exist. Sex-related organs are never represented in the Nkisi doll, yet other clues symbolize the sex difference. Bears because that instance, space often added to masculine figurines, while children are attached to female figurines, indicating the the Nkisi is both a woman and also married. However, Minkisi room not strikingly gendered- perhaps because they belong so much to a higher, spirituality world. Though they room unquestionably human, it is difficult to attribute an age, a race or sometimes even a gender to them.

Voodoo doll: virtually all Louisiana Voodoo dolls are female. This is predominantly because the bulk of the spirits and deities invoked (excluding Legba) room women. The female sex is likewise the one majoritarily used in doll-making-- masculine dolls are dubbed "Action Men" or "Power rangers." The idea that a doll immediately-- and without gift cognicent- invokes a mrs to a person. Transparent history, women have mostly been connected with things such as spirits or witchcraft (Europe"s witches, Salem etc.) that course, this is a big claim come make, and also I perform not have actually the sources to substantiate it, but I will certainly adventure to say that ladies are an ext strongly associated with soul than males are.


Perhaps a missing facial information leads the viewer to project certain emotions ~ above the doll, or design an emotionally state. The viewer draws conclusions, creates a replacement for the absence, and also is for this reason further attracted into the people of the doll. In addition, it allows an ext freedom for picking who is the topic of voodoo. A an ext general explanation might highlight the difference in between dolls and humans. By already excluding details body parts or features, the doll is immediately more available for further deconstructions and also changes-- such as sticking a needle right into it.

This is a fun analysis of the human body of an Nkondi by the human being Museum in Liverpool: