African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Fetish Kifwebe

Statuette Songye Kifwebe (N° 19725)



Statuette depicting a figure wearing the Songye kifwebe mask. The magical power of the bankishi,(sing. Nkishi) is, according to Songye belief, reinforced by the addition of accessories, talismans, metallic elements, seeds, shells, as here the loincloth, the skin belt, and the down on the head. Beige patina, encrusted with white clay. Cracks of desiccation.

These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. 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 manner. 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 that 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, the divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to bring clarifications on the causes of the misfortunes which struck the individuals.
 

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Originex-collection Colmant
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, textile, peau et duvet animal.
Height23
Width8
Weight0.20 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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