African art > Chair > Tabouret Songye

Tabouret à caryatide Songye Luhuna (N° 18570)

An ostentatious element and symbol of power, this type of seating was frequently used as a pedestal for mankishi fetishes (sing. nkishi). A figure in the image of fetishes, distinguished by its angular protrusions, and endowed with a face bearing the features of the Kifwebe mask, supports the circular tray. These seats were sometimes loaded with a bishimba at the head, umbilical or base. Smooth hot brown patina, erosions and desicit cracks.
In southwestern Congo, and in Angola and Zambia, each chief had a most often female caryatid seat, an image of fertility, fertility and matrilineal parentage. Three variants of the Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or 'chasing death' (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to come from the border area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled between the Lualaba River and the Sankuru River amidst the savannah and forests. They are governed by the Yakitengé and local chiefs. (Luba, F. Neyt) Litt.: The Sensible and the Force Ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa  

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OriginEx-collection Cheminal
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood dur
Height39
Width22
Weight2.00 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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