African statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) of Songye, it has a massive head offering geometric features, like the kifwebe mask. The arms are positioned around a protruding abdomen pointing above a raffia loincloth, and provide a space to carefully grasp the sculpture with metal hooks, as dictated by the custom. On this copy the magic charge bishimba was probably introduced to the top of the head, sealed by a small horn in the center of a leather washer. Brown, oiled, usual abrasions. Large desication cracks. Impaired base. These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between God and humans, charged with protecting against different evils. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, and 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. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the plagues that struck individuals. (ref.: Treasures of Africa, Tervuren Museum, ed. De Vries-Brouwers; Art and life in Africa C.De Roy; The Sensible and the Force Ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa)
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