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

Songye fetish (N° 21905)

Statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) at the top of which a horn has been inserted by the point. The power of the fetish, according to the beliefs of the Songye, would be reinforced by the presence of its accessories, metal and, or, various additions of materials, vegetable fibers, animal skins, dried fruits, etc... Beautiful abraded light brown patina.< br /> These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a 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 which they are related through common ancestors.
The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories like feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge.
Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.  

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OriginCollection Baraldi
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, peau etc corne animale
Height cm28
Width7 cm
Weight0.27 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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