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Songye Power Figure Two Faces Horn Nkishi Congo Africa

Regular Price: $290.00

Special Price: $95.00

Product #: 97349
US Shipping: $20.98
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Title Songye Power Figure Two Faces Horn Nkishi Congo Africa
Type of Object Standing Power Figure
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Songye
Materials Wood, horn
Approximate Age Mid 20th Century
Dimensions Height: 16 Inches
Width: 4 Inches
Depth: 4 Inches
Overall Condition Fair . 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 Chips, cracks, dents and a general worn surface


Additional Information: A Songye standing figure with hands on  abdomen, horn inserted in head. This figure shows much handling and good age!


This offered piece was used as a power figure, nkishi . Power figures among the Songye are known as nkishi (mankishi) while the same  figure is commonly called a ‘fetish’ when placed in Western collections with misplaced implications. Whereas Songye buanga figures are dedicated to positive ends early Europeans visitors saw them as ‘false gods – feticios to the Portuguese so that today Westerners call them ‘fetishes’!


The Songye live on the left bank of the Lualaba River in an area of savanna crossed by numerous major river systems. They have a long history of migration and cultural interchange with the Hemba, Kuba, Tetela, Luluwa and especially with the Luba from whom they are said to have originated. Magical beliefs and practice are widespread among the Songye people who use figures such as this on family or village altars where they contact the spirits of ancestors, nature spirits, and where offerings and prayers are given.


Recommended Reading:


Cornet, J., A Survey of Zairian Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, 1978


Dunja Hersak,Songye Masks and sculpture figures, 1985


Neyt, F., Traditional Arts and History of Zaire, Louvain, 1981