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Tribal art > African fetish > Songye fetish

Songye fetish (N° 21993)

African fetish Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ) whose top horn, inserted by the point, is blocked by a cushion made of fabric. In the hollowed-out umbilicus was also lodged a magic charge bishimba. The bulbous face is pierced with cowrie shells, and the treatment of the fingers recalls that of the beard.
Dark brown satin patina. Lacks.
These protective 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 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. 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.
The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories like feathers, skin and a horn full of magical charge.
Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.  

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OriginCollection Patrick Malisse
Material(s)wood, corne et peau animales, textile et cauris
Height cm42
Width15 cm
Weight2.75 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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