African art > Fetish > Songye Fetish

Fetish statuette Nkisi of Songye (N° 18139)

Balanced proportions and symmetry for this statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) whose top horn is intact. The tips of the feet, protruding from the raffia loincloth, merges on the circular base. In the hollowed-out umbilical came the magic charge bishimba , also present in the pad attached under the armpits. The power of the fetish would be accentuated by the presence of its accessories. Satin dark brown patina.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while 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.
The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge.
Alers present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that afflicted individuals.  

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Originex-collection luxembourgeoise
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, perles, fibres végatles et peau animale
Height38
Width8
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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