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

Songue Nkishi statue (N° 20093)

Among the wide range of songye sculptures, details distinguish this songye statuette such as the horn inserted into the head by the tip, and the tiny metal crown at the top. The magical power of the bankishi,(sing. Nkishi) is supposed to be enhanced by the addition of accessories, talismans, metal elements, seeds, shells. The abdominal cavity is filled with a magical charge that may be composed of therapeutic ingredients. Lustrous patina, desiccation cracks.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. 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 manner. 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 that are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge. Very present in their society, the divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to bring clarifications on the causes of the misfortunes which struck the individuals.

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Originex-collection britannique
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, corne
Weight1.65 Kg
Socle includedYes

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