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African art - Songye:




Songye Kifwebe mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye mask

The asymmetry of the powerful features of this tribal mask participates in the strength that it expresses. Large bands of contrasting colors, locally abraded, mark the surface. Eroded contours. Abrasions.
 Three types of African Kifwebe art masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi).
Also practiced by the Luba, the cult kifwebe ("mask" in Songye) acted as a secret police force for power, so as to control individuals through magic. Worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, Kifwebe masks additionally appeared during crucial stages of initiation ceremonies at the new moon.
The Songye came from ...


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240.00  192.00

Songye Nkisi fetish figure
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye figure

Fetish statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) anthropomorphic desacralized, the umbilicus hollowed out having no magical charge At the top of his skull stood a horn, sealing the orifice into which ritual elements were also introduced. Light brown satin patina.

These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through ...


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150.00  120.00

Statue Nkishi Songye Kalebwe
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

This sculpture with angular shapes is the result of cooperation between the nganga, the craftsman and the client. Treated according to the instructions of the ritual priest, the figure intended for the client is then loaded with the elements bishimba intended to counter any evil force. In the case of the çi-contre fetish, the hollowed abdomen is devoid of it. The face is studded with upholstery nails. In African culture, metal has magical, therapeutic and apotropaic properties. The face that adopts the features of a middle-aged man recalls both the kifwebe mask. Satin black brown patina.
The fetish Songye , magical sculpture Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while smaller ...


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280.00

Songye bust fetish
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye bust

Statuette-fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) featuring a busty, masked figure. Glossy black patina. Slightly missing, desiccation cracks.

These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The larger examples are collectively owned by an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. 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. The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features that are often used during secret ...


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190.00  152.00

Songye Kalebwe Nkishi fetish statue
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye fetish

Statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ) camped high on a rounded base. The power of the fetish, according to Songye beliefs, would be reinforced by the presence of its accessories, such as the summit horn and the various additions of materials and accessories, vegetable fibers, animal skins, dried fruits, etc... Semi-matt brown patina. Cracks.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. ...


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240.00

Songye fetish figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye fetish

A reduced reproduction of the kifwebe mask related to the Bwadi ka bifwebe society composes the face of the anthropomorphic fetish here opposite. The latter was carved in a dense wood in geometric volumes. The symbolic and magical ritual accessories are presented here in the form of a necklace of blue beads. Light brown patina.
The fetish Songye, 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 ...


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180.00  144.00

Songye Nsapo Axe
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African art > Weapon > Songye Nsapo Axe

Old and endowed with a beautiful patina, this piece comes from a Belgian collection of African art. The wooden handle features a honey-coloured satin patina. The trapezoidal blade is sharp and lined with perforations. Attack weapons were often used as currencies in trade before colonial times. Originally from Shaba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Songyes form a patriarchal society related to the Luba, with whom they share common ancestors. Governed by the yakitengé , and by local leaders, they are also subject to the influence of the secret society Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe whose masks are renowned.


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Songye reliquary basket
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African art > Reliquaries, statues > Songye reliquary basket

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.

In the centre of the room, there is a songye statuette with a face reminiscent of Kifwebe masks. This facies is also similar to that very geometric of some Nkisi protective fetishes.
The statuette is attached to a small terracotta clask itself placed among a multitude of offerings and libations accompanying a tangle of materials and strings.

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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Nkisi Songye Kalebwe statue
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye statue

African statue Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi )of the Songye, which has a head with kifwebe mask features. The prominent abdomen is highlighted by a belt lined with various quolifichets. The magical charge bishimba was probably introduced at the top of the head from which a fragment of animal horn rises. A second horn, attached to the necklace of the fetish, is also charged with sometimes therapeutic ingredients. Shaded gray patina.
These protective fetishes intended for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between god and men, responsible for protecting against various evils. The large examples are the collective property of a whole village, and the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.

Songye Kalebwe Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

Specific to the kalebwe region, in the center of Songye country, this African kifwebe mask bears astonishing protruding, curved pupils on either side of a broad sagittal ridge. The striated patterns on the surface are coated with burgundy, black, and cream pigments. Matt patina, erosion of the contours and cracks of desiccation.
 Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the male (kilume) generally with a high crest, the female (kikashi) would have a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). 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 manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related ...


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450.00  360.00

Songye statue
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye statue

Perched on the foot of a table, sculpted figures present faces with the features of kifwebe masks, their chins extended by a rectangular beard. The bodies are angular, and the large hands of the figures lean on the table separating them. Dark, lustrous patina, locally encrusted with ochre. Desiccation cracks. These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the ...


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350.00  280.00

Songye Nkishi two-headed statue
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye statue

Statue-fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) anthropomorphic endowed with two heads, and whose hollowed-out umbilicus conceals no magical charge At the top two horns are inserted through the tip. Brown patina with garnet highlights, satin finish.

These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The larger examples are collectively owned by an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ...

Fétiche Songye Nkisi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye Fetish

African tribal art and ritual fetishes
Statue-fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) anthropomorphic, its broad forearms are positioned around a protruding abdomen at the center of which the umbilical, hollowed out in cupule, received a cup Magic charge. Decorated with multicolored round and tubular pearl necklaces, in connection with the necklace symbol of the seven-year cycle of the association of bukishi , it is also dressed in a raphia loincloth. A cushion wrapped in reptile skin, perhaps the tail of the animal, is attached under its rib cage. At the top of his skull stands a horn, sealing the opening in which ritual elms were also introduced. The particularity of these objects most often resides in the angular treatment of the form, the imposing triangular face whose chin blends ...


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Songye Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

The atypical character of this Songye mask lies in its tubular eyes and its buzzed nose, the tip of which joins a protruding mouth. Parallel ribs run on the surface, highlighting the circular volumes. Kaolin residue, abrasions.
This types of African art mask Kifwebe are listed: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or absent, and finally the greater embodying power (kia ndoshi). 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 often used during ...


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390.00  312.00

Songye Divination Cup
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Songye Fetish

This cup from which sprang the bust of a fetiche nkishi songye was doomed to divinatory use. Various elements, shells, seeds, ossicles, frequently came to join the object. The magic charge bishimba was inserted into the cavity of the skull if the abdomen did not have it. Light brown patina coated with kaolin. Crack, erosion.

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 ...


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Songye Shield
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African art > African Shield > Songye Shield

Shield used by the company bwadi ka bifwebe , whose sculpted motif shows the mask Kifwebe . Two-tone matte patina. Abrasions.
Thirst variants of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or 'hunt death' (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to come from the border area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this copy, during the most important ceremonies. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled between the Lualaba River and the Sankuru River amidst savannah and forests. They are governed ...


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Masquette Songye Kifwebe
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

African art among the Songye.
This mask is a reduced copy of the "wooden mask" Kifwebe (plural Bifwebe), the same type of which was produced by the Luba and Songye. The term Kifwebe refers to the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the male secret society bwadi bwa kifwebe which provided social control. There are three variants: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high peak, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent peak, and finally the tallest embodying power (kia ndoshi). Height on base: 30 cm.

These African masks are equipped with holes on their outline so that, for the most important ceremonies, a costume can be attached to them, including a voluminous beard made of natural fibers. The white striations ...


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Large Songye Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

Extraordinary pupils project on either side of the nasal ridge of this songye mask that unfolds at the top in high flat crest. A rectangular tube forms the mouth. This African mask whose volumes helped inspire the Cubist artistic movement is streaked with lines encrusted with white pigment. Patina mate, erosions at the top.
Hightop: 88 cm.
This types of African art mask Kifwebe are listed: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or absent, and finally the greater embodying power (kia ndoshi). 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 ...


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Songye Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask

The term Kifwebe refers to the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the male secret society bwadi bwa kifwebe that ensured social control. There are three variants: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). Velvety matt patina, abraded. Height on base: 32 cm
. These African masks have holes around their edges so that for the most important ceremonies, a costume can be attached, including a voluminous beard made of natural fibers. The white stripes symbolize the feathers and the link with death. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba, in Katanga and ...


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350.00  280.00

Fetish statuette Nkisi Songye
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye Fetish

The face of this African statuette is related to the kifwebe mask related to the Bwadi ka bifwebe society. The ritual accessories here are in the form of a beaded necklace, an animal horn and a skin bead frequently having a magical charge or therapeutic ingredients. Satin chocolate patina.
The fetish Songye, 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 ...

Songye Kikashi Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kifwebe Mask

This African mask Songye, the kikashi, embodies a positive force. The palpebral, half-closed slits are stretched towards the temples, nose and mouth in rectangular protruding. The flat naso-frontal crest indicates that it is a female mask. Parallel streaks are engraved on the pigmented white surface.


This variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or 'hunt death' ( Roberts), from the society of the same name, stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or absent, and finally the greatest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to come from the border area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn by a dancer Kifwebe in a state of trance 'bwadi' , ...


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