Power figure - Horn, Metal, Wood - NKISI - Songye - Democratic Republic of Congo

Power figure - Horn, Metal, Wood - NKISI - Songye - Democratic Republic of Congo
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

Like the Kongo and other fellow Bantu cultures of central Africa, the Songye called upon supernatural forces which they believed could be contacted and manipulated in their favor through power sculptures, minkisi. While the Kongo adhered to certain prescribed types according to the nature of the problem requiring the nkisi’s assistance, maintaining certain sculptural formulae, the Songye sculptor-diviner (nganga) was unrestrained by such prescriptions. Taking a certain “classic” sculptural vocabulary as a point of departure, Songye artists proceeded with every imaginable variation at their disposal. A client commissioning a figure, describing the circumstances that require the intervention of the nkisi, might relay a description that inspired the form of the sculpture – perhaps from a dream or a mystical encounter with the spirit itself. Both in the design and execution of the underlying wood sculpture, and in the addition of magical accoutrements (bishimba), Songye power figures are the wildly inspired products of this mystical influence and artistic freedom. As a result, the Songye pantheon is full of powerful, menacing, exuberant, mischievous, unruly, and sometimes terrifying characters.

Shipping via Royal Mail (unless requested otherwise) within 24hrs after payment is received. Tracking number will be provided. Signature upon delivery. Fully insured.

Lot details
Power figure
Indigenous object name
Ethnic group/ culture
Region/ country
Democratic Republic of Congo
Horn, Metal, Wood
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
46×11×11 cm
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