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Tribal art > African Chair > Songye stool

Songye Stool with Janiform Leg (N° 21860)

In the south-west of the Congo, and in Angola and Zambia, each chief had a seat whose foot consisted of a female caryatid, an image of fecundity, fertility, and filiation. matrilineal. However, it is a kifwebe mask which replaces the caryatid here. This type of seat could also serve as a pedestal for Songye mankishi (sing. nkishi) fetishes. The seat here is concave. These seats were sometimes charged with a bishimba at the level of the head, the umbilicus or in the base.
Golden beige satin patina. Cracks and slight losses.
The Songye came from the Shaba region in the DRC and settled between the Lualaba River and the Sankuru River in the middle of savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitenge and by local chiefs. The Bwadi secret society, however, counterbalances their power. (Luba, F. Neyt) Three variants of the Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts) are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent crest, and finally the most great personifying power (kia ndoshi).
Lit. : "The Sensible and the Force" ed. Royal Museum for Central Africa  

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OriginCollection Patrick Malisse
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm36
Width24 cm
Weight3.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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