Hand-Carved Songye Statue 29.5″ – DRC – African Art

$350.00 $175.00

1 in stock

SKU: 1011840 Categories: , ,
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This Songye style statue showcases a male figure with a beautiful shiny patina. The statue measures 29.5 inches tall and weighs 9.5 pounds. There is some cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout this piece – please inspect photos carefully.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin

DR Congo




Wood, Pigment

Approximate Age










Overall Condition

Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.

Tribe Information

About the Songye People

“During the 16th century, the Songye migrated from the Shaba area, which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), and settled on the left bank of the Lualaba River, on a savannah and forest-covered plateau. Divided into numerous sub-groups, the 150,000 Songye people are governed by a central chief, the Yakitenge, whose role demands that he obey special restrictive laws such as not showing grief, not drinking in public and not shaking hands with men. In addition, local rulers, the Sultani Ya Muti, distribute plots of land to their villagers and an influential secret society, Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe, counterbalances their power. Unlike their neighbors, the Luba, the Songye tribe is a patriarchal society in which agriculture is central to the economy.”

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.


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Additional Information

About the Nkisi Nkondi Figure

The Bakongo people have created figures referred to as nkisi nkondi. These figures come in many shapes, sizes and forms. Nkondi is derived from the word konda which means to hunt, and are the most powerful form of nkisi. Nkisi are spirits; an object can become nkisi if it is resided by a spirit and filled with medicines. Therefore, nkisi nkondi is a spirit, inside of a hunter figure, and is imbued with sacred elements. Nails are often pounded into the figure in order to activate and provoke the lifeforce. These figures are used by the owner or a specialist, known as the Nganga, to communicate with ancestors to eradicate evil and punish wrong-doers. They are also used in divination practices to help heal the sick and to track down witches and sorcerers.