Songye figure (Front view)
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Item : Songye figure, Picture : Front view (approx. 18 Kbytes)


Songye figures were used by the diviner-healer (nganga) to protect the village, contribute to fertility and well-being and to chase away enemies and bush spirits. Small figures were owned by families. Most important are the many different types of substance and paraphernalia applied to the figures. They were empowered by the addition of materials with magical properties, including horns, skins, beads, tacks, shells, cloth and small figures. As a result of the individual treatments the object receives, each figure is seen as imbued with its own identity and even its individual name.

Origin : Purchased from a private collection, New York

Lit. : « La redoutable statuaire Songye d'Afrique centrale », François Neyt, Fonds Mercator, Anvers, 2004

Object #5403

Origin :

D. R. Congo

Type :

Statuary

Ethnic group :

Songye

Material :

Wood, metal, oily patina and ritual agglomerate

Size :

H = 8.2 inches

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