Songye Community Male Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Lot 132
Songye Community Male Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sold for US$ 24,062 inc. premium
Songye Community Male Power Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo
nkisi
Wood, goat horn (Capra hircus), coins, ritual patination, metal, bells, plant fiber
height 41in (104cm)

Provenance
Herbert and Nancy Baker, Los Angeles/Chicago
Edward "Bud" Jacobson, acquired from the above in 1977
Jacobson was a major benefactor of the Heard Museum in Phoenix and a collector of Native American art. His collection is currently displayed in the Edward "Bud" Jacobson wing of the Heard Museum
Heard Museum, donated in December 1982 by Jacobson (Heard Museum catalog number AF-CG-Sg-F-4 inscribed on one side of the head)
Deaccessioned by the Heard Museum in 1991
California Private Collection

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)

An extremely rare type of nkisi with naturalistic facial features, including eyes which immediate capture the viewer's attention. Metal inserts power the head around the crown, Belgian coins from 1909-1921 embedded into shoulders and thighs, bells strung around the shoulder and torso adding life to the body when carried; a charge hole to the central chest now lacking the power ingredients; varied light and dark brown patina with oily ritual patination around the face area.
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
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