Intended to counter various problems, songye magical statues have cavities into which components called bishimba are introduced. This copy, desecrated, is visibly devoid of it. A copper strip, held together with long staples, runs from the skull to the end of the nose. The cowrie shells aptly represent eyelids fringed with eyelashes, while the mouth unfolds in a toothed grin. Vigorously cut, the morphology is articulated in powerful and exuberant projections around ample digitized feet and hands.
Glossy dark patina then orange from the bust.
The Songye fetish, magical sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, the smaller figures reserved for individual or family use. 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 way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors.
Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes which struck individuals.
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