This Songye style statue showcases a male power figure (Nkisi) with an imbued power pouch made from snake skin on his belly. The statue measures 18 inches tall and comes attached to a custom base for easy display. There is some cracking and scuffing throughout this piece. Please inspect photos carefully.
Songye Power Figure on Base 18″ – DRC – African Art
1 in stock
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Wood, pigment, vegetable fiber, animal horn, snake skin
16.5" figure | 18" on base
Some cracking, scuffing and general wear and tear throughout.
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.
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.