African art > Fetish > Songye Fetish

Fetish statuette Nkisi Songye (N° 17898)

African statuette Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) of Songye, this tribal fetish has a sculpted head in the image of the Songye's Kifwebe mask. The arms are absent, highlighting a tubular, narrow bust, and the horns concealing the magical charges bishimba also. However, cords and raffia are wrapped around the neck and hips of the figure. Wood exuding a matte oily patina, speckled with kaolin residue. Very slight cracks.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between God and humans, charged with protecting against different evils. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, and smaller figures belong to an individual or family. 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 the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the plagues that struck individuals. (ref.: Treasures of Africa, Tervuren Museum, ed. De Vries-Brouwers; Art and life in Africa C.De Roy; The Sensible and the Force Ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa)  

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Originex-collection française
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height32
Width9
Weight0.95 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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