Tribal art > African fetish > Songye Fetish
Songye Nkisi fetish statue (N° 18955)
African statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi )of the Songye, which has a head with stylized features like the kifwebe mask. The arms are positioned around a protruding umbilicus pointing beneath the textile of a red dress, providing, as was customary, space to grasp the sculpture with metal hooks. Here, the magical charge bishimba has probably been introduced at the top of the head from which a horn rises. Various ritual accessories also embellish the sculpture.
Golden brown speckled patina. Eroded base.br>
These protection fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between god and men, responsible for protecting against various evils. The larger figures are the collective property of an entire village, and 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.
Divination was very present in their society and allowed them to discover wizards and to shed light on the causes of the scourges that struck individuals (ref.: Trésors d'Afrique, Musée de Tervuren, ed. De Vries-Brouwers ; "Art and life in Africa" C.De Roy ; "Le Sensible et la Force" ed. Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale).
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, textile, peau, cornes|
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