SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

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Lot 66
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Sold for US$ 65,937 inc. premium

African and Oceanic Art

19 Nov 2020, 11:00 PST

Los Angeles

SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
nkisi
height 54 1/2in (138.5cm)

Provenance
Jean-Pierre and Anne Jernander Collection, Brussels
Merton D. Simpson Gallery, New York (No. 4256)
Allan Stone Collection, New York

Exhibited
Greenwich, CT, Bruce Museum, Power Incarnate: Allan Stone's Collection of Sculpture from the Congo, 14 May - 4 September 2011

Published
Dumouchelle, Kevin D., Power Incarnate: Allan Stone's Collection of Sculpture from the Congo, Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT, 2011, illus. p. 58, cat. no. 35

John Mack notes, "Communal mankisi (plural for nkisi) are used to achieve benign ends. The need of their magical intervention in human affairs may be signalled by such phenomena as persistent dreams of imminent danger among those charged with their care: premonitions expressed in visions of lightning and fire, or deep ravines. [...] Although dedicated to ensuring the health and welfare of the community, these figures are not exponents of the bedside manner but confrontational objects, objects with attitude." (Phillips, Tom ed., Africa - The Art of a Continent, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1995, p. 283-284)

Of monumental scale, the figure rises from a circular base with diminutive bent knees, as if ready for action. The elongated torso with a bulging abdomen, acting as the nest of magical power substances once filling the umbilicus cavity. The broad chest adds vibrancy as if a large inhale has been taken. A large columnar neck supports the spherical head with angular jaws and broad chin; the face plated with copper strips referencing the power of the blacksmith and lightning. A large goat horn (Capra hircus) is inserted into the top of the head, rising above and symbolizing power, fertility and fecundity, as well as perhaps serving as a connection with the cosmos; varied light and dark brown patina with ritual patination throughout.
Contacts
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
SONGYE COMMUNITY MALE POWER FIGURE, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO
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