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Tribal art > African fetish > Statue Songye

Songye Nkishi Fetish (N° 18668)

Always intriguing by the diversity of their magical paraphernalia, the African fetishes mankishi (plu.) of Songye, specialists in the field. The antelope horn, usually loaded with bishimba in which magical ingredients mingle, emerges from the top, between the janiform faces cut in the image of bifwebe masks. A third masked face takes the place of the abdomen. Among the various magical accessories added by the ritualist named nganga, we see necklaces, inlays of upholstery nails, feathers, hooks and metal bells Each of them played a role in guarding against witchcraft. Around the hips, a little feline fur. Grainy matte patina, polychrome highlights.
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 whom they are related through common ancestors. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that afflicted individuals. The Nkisi (sing.) plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large copies, the bankishi, 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 italienne
EthnySongye
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, metal, plant fibre
Height90
Width18
Weight7.25 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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