Showcasing the art and ritual of the African and African-diaspora religions

Pakèt Kongo for Rèn Kongo

Catalog Number: A003


Priestess Marie Maude Evans


76.2 x 52.1


30 x 20.5


Religion and Denomination: Sèvi lwa/Vodou (Haiti, Ewe-Gen-Aja-Fon)
Country of Origin: United States
Ethnographic Origin: Haitian
Materials: Beads
Usage: N/A
Detailed Description of Significance:

This Pakèt Congo is for La Rèn Kongo, (Queen of the Kongo) the lwa (divinity) of knowledge and good luck. She is traditionally worshiped in southern and eastern Haiti, especially in the city of Miragare. According to worshipers, the spirits found in south and center of Haiti are stronger because the regime set up in northern Haiti at one time called for the destruction of all Vodou “idols” while the south never suffered from such institutionalized attacks. T

The base of the pakèt Kongo resembles the body of a woman, including her waist, hips, and chest. The ornamentation on what would be the chest of the woman is similar to the ornamentation associated with extravagant women’s clothing. The peacock feathers coming out of the top of the base represent the head and crown of the queen. The peacock feathers in particular denote the prestige associated with Rèn Kongo because the peacock is a bird associated with beauty and royalty. The two extensions from the base represent the queen’s arms. They are arranged so that one arm is higher than the other, miming a salutation by the divinity. The wavy ribbon on the ends of the arms represents bracelets, like the one a maid of honor would wear. According to its maker, the queen wears no other jewelry because that would make the figure too busy.

The base of this empowered effigy contains various medications for making relationships, including perfume and liquor.