African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Songye sword
Songye sword (N° 23158)
The sword has a hilt with a janiform motif with symbolic reference, a miniature replica of the kifwebe mask, but whose function is also protective. It is indeed an object of nkishi power, provided with a ritual charge inserted at the top. This prestigious sword-emblem has its scabbard with meticulously braided contours.
Smooth gray beige patina, slight desication crack.
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 which they are related through common ancestors. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the plagues that struck individuals. (ref.: Treasures of Africa, Museum of Tervuren, ed. De Vries-Brouwers; "Art and life in Africa" C.De Roy; "Le Sensible et la Force" ed. Royal Museum for Central Africa)
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|Origin||Collection Patrick Malisse|
|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, metal, textile et cauris|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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