An impressive Songye Nkishi, first half XXth century, complete with charges.
Provenance: Gaethan Schoonbroodt, Verviers.
H= 56cm. Wood, dried out animal skin, horn, metal inserts holding the skin on the forehead, raphia around the waist .
insect damages on the side. (see pictures)
This imposing standing figure, is the joint creation of a skilled carver and a trained ritual practitioner, or Nganga. Across Central Africa, such ritual specialists are major patrons of such power objects.
Once completed, the nkishi was kept in a special enclosure positioned in a highly visible location, such as the center of the village or near the chief’s house. It was cared for by a guardian who also served as an interpreter for the nkishi whose messages were received through dreams or spirit possession.
Hersak, Dunja. 1986. Songye. Masks and Figure Sculpture. London: Ethnographica.
Hersak, Dunja. 2010. "Reviewing power, process, and statement: the case of Songye figures". African Arts. 43: 38-51.
Neyt, François. 2009. Songye: The Formidable Statuary of Central Africa. Munich: Prestel.
Petridis, Constantine. 2009. Art and power in the central African Savanna: Luba, Songye, Chokwe, Luluwa. Cleveland, Ohio: Cleveland Museum of Art.
- Indigenous object name
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- Congo DRC
- 1st half 20th century
- Sold with stand
- 56×12×17 cm