The sculpture features a face reminiscent of the kifwebe masks associated with the Bwadi ka bifwebe society. She is equipped with ritual accessories in the form of a skin bead usually containing a magical charge. A woven raffia loincloth wraps the waist. Libatory residue at the top.
Light brown velvety patina, slight desiccation cracks.
The Songye fetish, magical sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The larger specimens are collectively owned by an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. 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.
Divination is very present in their society and allowed them to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of misfortunes that struck individuals.
Litt. Le Sensible et la Force" ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa
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