Minkisi - Art and Belief in West and Central Africa


Desmond Bovey’s collection of rare masks and statues offers an insight into African tribal life. Minkisi (singular: nkisi) are statues, or more often containers such as bottles or shells, into which a spirit has been lured to take up residence. These figures bristling with nails are often perceived by other cultures to be aggressive. In reality the Minkisi’s primary function is to protect.

The exhibition includes nearly 100 figures, masks, instruments and reliquaries from 33 tribal groups in 10 countries, offering a privileged insight into secret Africa.

African Rhythm Games & Drumming, Next session October 7 at 2pm 
A fun afternoon for the whole family to enjoy.  Read more >>


A FREE exhibition programme also runs alongside this exhibition. Read more on the Education page

Floor Talk: 24 November, 2pm

Minkisi, Ancestral Figure, Fang, Gabon