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Nkisi Nkondi, Congo 1800's

    This statue is a symbol of understanding. It was used to make agreements between people in the Congo in Africa.  They couldn't read or write but they wanted to have something like a contract.  They wanted to show things like who was getting married or who sold crops.  When they had a meeting they would take a rock and bang the nail in the statue to get everyone's attention. The judges in America bang the gavel on the wooden counter to get our attention.  When the nails were hammered in the people could always go back to show the proof that they had made an agreement.

     A gavel is a kind of hammer that judges use to quiet down the court. When judges use it they say different words like court is in session, silence, and order in the court.  It is very similar to what the people in the Congo used to do.

 Blind Justice
    This picture is a symbol we use to show that we want people to tell the truth and be treated fairly.  It is also like the nkisi nkondi from the Congo.  Blind justice means that when you walk into a court the judge doesn't judge you by the way you look or the clothes you wear.  You get treated fairly and with decency and respect.  It also means that you're not different from the judge and the court.  The woman is holding a scale to weigh the evidence.  The court will ask for proof to find out who is guilty or innocent.  This means that you must show you are telling the truth and then you will get a fair trail.

Daniella, Class 4-429, Ms. Ricketts, Teacher

To Learn More About Nkisi Nkondi

Visit the Dallas Museum of Art's web site and type nkisi nkondi in the search box.