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Tribal art > African fetish > Songye Fetish

Fétiche Songye Nkisi (N° 16404)

This powerful ritual figure of the Songye, desecrated, was moved by rods placed under the arms. The horn filled with magic substances that rose from his skull was removed. The face borrows the appearance of the Songye Kifwebe mask. The cup that had various ingredients is also empty.
Golden brown glossy patina.
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 greatest 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. Various ingredients were introduced into the statue's abdomen, into the horn, sometimes also in pouches attached to the loincloth, in order to strengthen the power of the object. Textiles, feathers and necklaces were also necessary attributes to guard against witchcraft. The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of the savannah and forests. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to which they are related through common ancestors. Very present in their society, divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals. They are governed by the yakitengé and by local leaders. The secret society Bwami however, counterbalances their power. Their male masks, with occult powers, were displayed during punitive and disciplinary expeditions. The Nkisi acts as a mediator between gods and men. Large copies are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.  

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Originex-collection Mercier
EthnySongye
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood
Height24
Width11
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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