Songye Male Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lot 229
Songye Male Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sold for US$ 26,250 inc. premium
Auction Details
Songye Male Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo Songye Male Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo Songye Male Fetish Figure Songye Male Fetish Figure
Lot Details
Songye Male Fetish Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
bwanga
height 16 1/2in (42cm)
Wood

Provenance:
Christie's, London, June 83, lot 135
Private Collection, England

"Songye fetish figures are numerous and vary in size from 10 to 150cm. They are usually male and stand on a circular base, have an elongated torso framed by set-apart arms and their hands rest on the abdomen. Their enlarged head has a square or pointed chin, an open mouth and a triangular nose set between enlarged globular eyes. Strips of metal, nails or other paraphernalia are sometimes applied over the face which counteract evil spirits and aggressors and channel lightning against them. Moreover, the top of the head and the abdomen are usually hollowed to allow insertion of fetish material, bishimba, which imbues the figure with power...Large fetish figures protect entire villages and are kept in special miniature huts, while smaller are used to protect individuals against death and disease." (Bacquart, 1998: p 168)
Activities
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