Tribal art > African fetish > Songye statue
Songye statue (N° 22650)
Originally from Shaba in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Songye are related to the Luba with whom they share common ancestors.
This large fetish is devoid of its ventral charge bishimba and has for only ornaments, specificities of Songye statuary, an animal horn introduced at the top, and metal slats and nails on the face, reference probable to the ravages of the pox. The ears, hollowed out, are also symbolically filled with tufts of hair.
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The Kuba did not produce fetishes, they obtained them from their Songye neighbors, who were considered experts in the field. Rods or iron hooks were introduced under the arms in order to move them.
These protective fetishes with magical charges are called nkisi and play in African culture the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are generally the collective property of the village, the more modest figures being reserved for individual or family use.
Ref. :"Art and life in Africa" C.De Roy
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Material(s)||wood, metal, corne animale, plant fibre|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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