African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye figure
Songye figure (N° 22918)
Carved in dense wood, this bust figure adopts the physiognomy of the African kifwebe mask from the Bwadi ka bifwebe society. The bishimba magic charge, with a protective aim, is absent. Glossy patina, cracks.
The Songye fetish, magic sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, the more modest figures reserved for individual or family use.
In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. 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 misfortunes that struck individuals.
Lit. : "The Sensible and the Force" ed. Royal Museum for Central Africa
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, perles de verre|
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