Early 20th century Songye Nkisi (Power Figure), . 38cm height sold

A Rare  janus figure


Early 20th century Songye Nkisi (Power Figure), . 
38cm height 
From a private collection number 2156

A ‘Nkisi’ protective power protective figure of the Songye, in southeastern Congo. Among the Songye, typical sculptures such as the present one used to play a major role in the healing the sick, the administration of justice, and in the case of ‘white’ and ‘black’ magic.
Smaller ‘Nkisi’  were carved according to more personal, individual patterns, whilst single ‘Nkisi’ of larger size served as protective or guardian figures for the whole village community. Both heads have been style by copper nails around the eye brows and  nose
Such ‘Nkisi’ power figures were ‘loaded with magical material’ by a ‘Nganga’ (soothsayer, or priest).  substances have inserted into a horn atop the head, into a recess in the abdomen and two plant seeds on either side with two  magical rope joining the pair  , providing the ‘Nkisi’ with its ‘magical power’. The present ‘Nkisi power figure’ constitutes a rare , ‘androgynous’ type (female and male). Carved from dark -coloured hard wood . The  inserted antelope horn filled with Nganga The head is manufactured in typical style with a knop coiffure, large bulging eyes, a flat nose,  ‘magic material’ located in the protruding abdomen, sustained with both hands. The ‘Nkisi’ stands on a round plinth  and is adorned with  necklaces of copper and  polychrome glass blue , white ,red  pink 
price on request


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