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Tribal art > African Chair > Songye Seat

Tabouret Songye (N° 14805)

A female figure whose face takes the form of the mask Kifwebe plays here the role of caryatide. Another incongruity is that excessive feet develop on a damaged circular promontory, just like the seat. This type of seat could also serve as a pedestal for fetishes mankishi (sing. nkishi). Three variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "Chasing the mort" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to originate from the adjacent 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 in the middle of the savannah and forests. They are governed by the yakitengé and local leaders. The secret society Bwadci, however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions. Their appearances remained linked to divinatory and socio-political objectives. (Luba, F. Neyt) Manifest seniority. Golden brown wood, ribbed, appearing locally under a dark patina. Desication cracks.
Litt.: "The Sensitive and the Force" ed. Royal Museum of Central Africa  

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Originex-collection suisse
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height42
Width22
Weight2.50 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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