Tribal art > African fetish > Songye statue
Songye statue (N° 20357)
French coll.traditional African art.
This carved figure Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ) is equipped with magical charges bishimba which were inserted into the skull cavity if the abdomen did not have them. The power of the fetish would be further enhanced by the presence of various accessories, metal, quolifichets, etc...
Beautiful orange-brown patina. Slight accidents and cracks of desiccation.
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These protection fetishes intended for the houses are among the most appreciated of Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples 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 manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors.
Ex. collection of the Italian sculptor and painter Arturo Carmassi (1925-2015) (Photo below of the artist's studio in which the piece appears)
Ex. collection of the man of letters and curator René Druart (1888-1961)