African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye statue

Songye statue (N° 22901)

African fetish Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) of the Songye whose oversized feet rest on a pedestal. This sculpture, more realistic than usual, has been deprived of some of its accessories and ritual talismans, their location still being visible.
Abraded spotted patina, kaolin highlights.
Desication cracks, erosions.
These fetishes of protection against various evils would play the role of mediator between god and men. The large specimens are generally the collective property of the village, the more modest figures being reserved for individual worship.
In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba, to whom they are related through common ancestors. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the plagues that struck individuals. (ref.: Treasures of Africa, Museum of Tervuren, ed. De Vries-Brouwers; "Art and life in Africa" ​​C.De Roy; "Le Sensible et la Force" ed. Royal Museum for Central Africa)  

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OriginEx-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, corne, plant fibre
Height cm62
Width13 cm
Weight1.40 Kg

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