Healing Power

until 6 June 2022 in Tropenmuseum Amsterdam

From February 18, 2021 to June 6, 2022, the exhibition Healing Power in the Tropenmuseum Amsterdam will showcase a range of healing rituals around the world, based on objects from Europe, South America to the Arctic regions.

Six different ritual specialists take you into the stories behind the traditions. As spirituality often serves as a source of inspiration for artists, Healing Power also features modern art. For example, spiritual objects from the museum collection such as shaman coats, amulets, wool thread paintings from the Huichol (one of the indigenous Mexican cultures) have been brought together with work by artists such as Damian Hirst, Marina Abramovic and Jorge Mañes Rubio.

Dutch Museum Gift Shop offers a selection of products from the museum shop that were designed for this exhibition. From a smudge set to Inner Compass Cards or gemstones with a special power; these spiritual products are full of healing power and are perfect gifts for a loved one or for yourself.


Mama Aisa Statue

Mama Aisa is the goddess of animals and plants, and a patroness of medicine, the arts, agriculture and trade. Her figure is associated with wisdom, compassion and unconditional love. As the head of the Gron-winti (gods of Earth), she is one of the most important gods within the Winti pantheon.

The figure of Mama Aisa is based off the Ghanaian mother goddess Asase Yaa, whose figure was in turn inspired by the Egyptian goddess Isis. Enslaved peoples took the reverence of Asase Yaa with them from West Africa to Suriname, where she was called Mama Aisa or Mamaisa. As many Afro-Surinamese people have moved to The Netherlands, Mama Aisa now resides here as well.

Boris van Berkum created the design of this statue based on an assemblage of three images. The first image is of modern-day Winti priestess Marian Markelo, who commissioned this statue; the second image is of a small, 19th Century, wooden statue of a priestess or medicine woman from Congo, belonging to the Wereldmuseum collection; the third image is of a 19th Century funeral mask used by the Punu peoples of Gabon, also belonging to the Wereldmuseum collection.


Healing Power – Living traditions, Global interactions | Catalogue

The catalogue of ‘Healing Power – Living traditions, Global interactions’ by Cunera Buijs and Wouter Welling was made for the exhibition of the same name at the Tropenmuseum.

The catalogue of Healing Power was written by Cunera Buijs and Wouter Welling. Prior to the exhibition, Buijs and Welling put together an expert meeting of ritual specialists, scientists and artists in the field of healing, shamanism, Vodou, Winti and witchcraft. The articles in this publication are based on the discussions held during this meeting, complemented with additional contributions.


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