African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kasongo Fetish
Kasongo Fetish (N° 18973)
The personal protection figures kakudjis , used by the Hemba, Kusu and Kasongo, were inspired by Songye fetishes. The magical charge, composed of ingredients of various origins, was inserted into the head cavity. This example retains clay residue in this orifice. The piece is massive, carved in a very dense wood, the arms of the character are extended by a ring that drapes his abdomen, surmounting a cylindrical base.
The Kusu established on the left bank of the Lualaba have borrowed the artistic traditions of the Luba and the Hemba and possess a caste system similar to that of the Luba . The Kasongos form a Kusu subgroup, now scattered among the Luba, Songye, and Hemba.
The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored in ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, male such as the bukazanzi , and female, the bukibilo ,played a great role within the clan.
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