Africa

Songye figure

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Carved wood, nails, horn, fiber
Late 19th – early 20th century
Height: 6 in. (15 cm)

Ex collection Boris Kegel-Konietzko, Hamburg
Ex collection Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels
Ex collection Martin & Roberta Lerner, New York

Literature: AfriCubisme, 2018

Price: on request

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The Songye reside in the southeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near the Lomami River in Central Africa. The political organization of the Songye is structured around the personality of their chief, a holy, benevolent figure endowed with magical-religious power. Secret societies structure social, political and religious life. Fetishes, amulets (boanga or nganga) and power figures (nkishi) are omnipresent among the Songye.