African art > Fetish > Statue Songye
Statue of ancestor Songye (N° 17321)
Lacking magical accessories, this African sculpture Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) depicts an ancestor standing frontally on a circular base. The hands highlight an abdomen whose hollowed-out prominence enhances the umbilical. The face recalls the face of the Kifwebe mask by the grimacing mouth, protruding, and the wide eyeballs. Glossy dark patina. Desication cracks.
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These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while smaller figures belong to an individual or 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 whom they are related through common ancestors.
The Songyes have 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.
Alers present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that afflicted individuals.
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|Origin||récolté in-situ 1987|
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