African art > Fetish > Songye Fetish

Songye tricephalous fetish statuette (N° 18772)

Ex-collection Belgian African art.

This intriguing figure with three heads perched on a ringed neck forms a reduced, individual version of the great Nkisi fetishes of the Songye. It has three masked faces of the kifwebe, and the armless morphology is illustrated by stocky, muscular legs resting spread out on a small circular base. Satin black patina. Slight cracks of desiccation. These fetishes of protection intended for housing are among the most prized 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 sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. 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.
The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features 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, divination made it possible to discover wizards and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.  

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Sold for 240.00
 


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Originex-collection art africain belge
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width9
Weight0.55 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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