African art > Fetish > Songye Charm

Songye janiform protective charm (N° 16720)

Among their array of amulets, fetishes and tribal statues, this small bust statuette was supposed to provide individual protection of the Songye against any kind of bad fate, to promote their wealth and fertility. The faces echo the features of the famous kifwebe sculpted mask. Magical substances are probably enclosed at the base that a strip of oiled textile clogs. 18 cm on its pedestal. Abrasions and shrapnel.
The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled between the Lualaba River and the Sankuru River in the middle of the savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitengé and by local leaders. The secret society Bwadi however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions. Their appearances remained linked to divinatory and socio-political objectives. The society kifwebe of Songye, bwadi bwa kifwebe, was originally a police force of the authority in place that acted through witchcraft and used ritual masks. From colonization it gradually lost its influence. In the west of Songye country, the bukishi was using statues. Fetishists also used fetishes named boanga with magic charge attached or embedded. (Luba, F. Neyt)
 

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Originex-collection belge
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height17
Width9
Weight0.25 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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