The Field Museum's 10 Hidden Gems
It looks like a cool piece of reproduction primitive art some people put in their gardens. But the message behind the nkondi in the Africa exhibit is much more profound.
Rather than holding a grudge after a dispute over, say, property, the Bakongo people of central Africa used this nail-studded figure centuries ago to mark the end of conflicts. After a fight, the men involved would drive a nail into the nkondi and bury their differences.
Its message lives on. The High Museum of Art in Atlanta chose this piece to represent the Field Museum for a special exhibit during the 1996 Olympic Games.