Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Songye Power Figure Nkishi on Stand Congo African Art

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Title Songye Power Figure Nkishi on Stand Congo Africa
Type of Object Carving, statue
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Songye
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 25 Inches
Width: 9.5 Inches
Overall Condition Good. Most of our 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 N/A

Additional Information: A well used Songye standing figure with the base of a magical horn in the top of the head. The horn at the top was once filled with magical substances. This offered figure is carved in classic a Songye style of cubist proportions and strong lines. It shows much of handling and Good age and would stand out in any collection.

This figure has a strongly defined body and the well-known Songye jutting chin and geometric nose with the eyes and brows sculpturally prominent. 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 age of the object can be seen in the wear of the surface through long use and the accumulation of elements on the figure.

Recommended Reading: Dunja Hersak, 1985, SONGYE MASKS AND SCULPTURE FIGURES