This statue was carved in the style of a power figure from the Songye people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The statue has a beautiful feathered headdress on top attached to a woven vegetable fiber hat. The statue measures 35 inches tall and weighs 12 pounds. There is a large crack on the face and another one on the abdomen but the piece is sturdy. Please inspect photos carefully.
Songye Statue with Feathered Headdress 35″ – DRC – African Art
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Wood, pigment, vegetable fiber, feathers
Large crack on face and abdomen. 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.