This carved figure Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi )is embellished with feathers at the place where the top horn used to be. Her angular face is powerfully expressive. The magic charge bishimba was introduced into the skull cavity if the abdomen did not have it. The power of the fetish would be further enhanced by the presence of accessories, metal rings in this case. Light wood coated with a locally abraded black patina.
These protection fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens 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 way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors.
The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin, and a horn full of magical charge.
Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover wizards and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.
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