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Songye Power Figure with Custom Base Congo African Art

$215.00
Product #: 99419
US Shipping: $31.98
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Title Songye Power Figure with Custom Base Congo Africa
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democractic Republic of Congo
People Songye
Materials Wood, copper
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 20.5 inches tall x 8 inches wide x 7 inches deep
Overall Condition fair
Damage/Repair missing horn leaves a cavity. chipped eyes. bug damage to feet and base arrested. dirt, general wear


Additional Information:  The form of the Songye power figure is well known.  This standing male holds the standard pose with hands on his prominent belly.  His chin is long with an open mouth, and his eyes are lined with copper wire.  The wood exhibits a dark patina and the original base has been replaced with a gorgeous finished custom stand, prepared for immediate display.  


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. Power figures among the Songye are known as buanga 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’!