African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Songye
Statue Songye (N° 12907)
African art and fetishes nkisi
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This fetish statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) does not seem to have passed into the hands of the fetishist, the umbilical, hollowed out in cup, not having a magic charge. Other elements strengthening its "power ", and associated with rituals, such as horn, necklaces, insertion or metal veneer, being also absent. The particularity of these objects most often resides in the angular treatment of the form, the imposing triangular face whose chin blends into the beard, the mouth cracks raised in rictus, and the attitude deported to the front of the bulging belly. Dark brown patina with blackish residual inlays, satin touch. Desication cracks.
These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and humans. Large copies are the collective property of 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 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 magic charge.
Very present in their society, divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.
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