African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye statue
Songye statue (N° 20318)
African statue Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi )of the Songye, which has a head with kifwebe mask features. The prominent abdomen is highlighted by a belt lined with various quolifichets. The magical charge bishimba was probably introduced at the top of the head from which a fragment of animal horn rises. A second horn, attached to the necklace of the fetish, is also charged with sometimes therapeutic ingredients.
Shaded gray patina.
These protective fetishes intended for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between god and men, responsible for protecting against various evils. The large examples are the collective property of a whole village, and the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.
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