Tribal art > African Statues > Songye Fetish
Songye Fetish (N° 24786)
Rare work, strange object of curiosity offering two heads on a hollowed bust around a miniature subject. This African statue Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) of the Songye is pierced with numerous nails. Different metals adorn the faces reminiscent of kifwebe masks.
Thick black patina, locally grainy.
The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between god and men, responsible, among the Songye, for protecting against various evils. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, and 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 whom they are related through common ancestors.
(ref.: Treasures of Africa, Museum of Tervuren, ed. De Vries-Brouwers; "Art and life in Africa" C.De Roy; "The Sensible and the Force" ed. Royal Museum for Central Africa)
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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