|Title||Songye Power Figure Nkishi Female Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Power figure Nkishi|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Dimensions||Height: 20 Inches
Width: 5.75 Inches
|Overall Condition||Fair. Most ofour pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||Cracks in head and in torso, crack in buttocks, chips and dents|
Additional Information: This was well carved and rare Songye female figure is carved in classic Songye style of cubist proportions and clean lines identified with the northern Songye in their localized style known as Kalebwe. Though considered to be a medium sculpture this is an impressive and well carved example of Songye art and will add a unique object to any serious collection.
Many groups in the greater Congo area, and elsewhere, use art to meet the contingencies of everyday life through the activities of the local priest or diviner known as the Nganga. These individuals of great spiritual strength and inductive abilities use the rituals, secret formulae and sculptures to heal and prevent the activities of malevolent forces. Sculpture like this are known as Nkishi and often serve to divine the future, control one s destiny, and forestall evil-doers or to work magic and most importantly to gain the attention of the spirit world. Among the Songye and other Bantu language speakers, sculpture such as this Nkishi serves as the contact point between the spirits and the Nganga, it is where the ritual activity of the diviner meets spiritual presence. The opening in the figure's stomach and head would often have magical material known as bishimba placed in it to give it its powers.
Bacquart's TRIBAL ARTS OF AFRICA and Cornet's A SURVEY OF ZAIRIAN ART-THE BRONSON COLLECTION.; Dunja Hersak, SONGYE MASKS AND FIGURE SCULPTURE
I have examined this piece and agree with the description.
Niangi Batulukisi, PhD.