African art > African Statues > Songye Fetish
Fetish statuette Nkisi of Songye (N° 17395)
Fetish statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) anthropomorphic without accessories, represented in a classical attitude. The particularity of these objects usually lies in the angular treatment of the shape, the imposing triangular face whose chin blends into the beard, the cracks of the mouth raised in rictus, and the attitude deported forward the bulging belly. Oversized feet are also a recurring detail. Absence of the summit horn.
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restal satinpatine. Desication cracks and wood abrasions.
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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