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Nkishi Figure of Power - SONGYE - D.R Congo

Lot reference 21748179
Nkishi Figure of Power - SONGYE - D.R Congo

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Around 1950 - Private collection, Belgium

Nkishi figure of power, Songye, D.R Congo.
Provenance: private collection of African art, Belgium.
Estimated dating: around 1950.
Dimensions: 35 x 7 cm.
Materials: wood, horn.
Stand: additional.

The spirits of the dead - generically named mikishi - occupied a very important place within the Songye ritual practices. Benevolent or malicious, these spirits were directly in contact with humans and intervened in their daily lives. The propitiatory mikishi’s were either invoked through the preparations of magical substances named manga (singular: bwanga), or specifically through the intermediary of figures of power named mankishi (singular: nkishi) Only the approved specialists, known almost everywhere under the name of banganga (singular: nganga), had the mystical wisdom - result of an innate power and an adequate training - to deal with these spirits. They were responsible of the creation of the manga, and to some extent, of the mankishi. The latter were usually used for magical operations, requiring the approval of the group, and serving for the well-being of an individual or for the entire community. As for the Luba, the Songye mankishi referred to any form of positive and protective medicine. What distinguished the mankishi from any other “sacred” forms of manga of “profane” medicines were the formulas pronounced to assemble the bishimba (magical animal, plant and mineral substances) which created the contact between mikishi spiritual forces and the physical world.
The mankishi are usually provided with diverse accessories and ornaments. The piece presented here has probably been dispossessed by its first Western owner, in an aesthetic purpose. However, the summit horn remains intact. Please note the light-coloured patina, rare to find.

Insured, secured shipment with track and trace, or withdrawal at the gallery are possible.
Piece delivered with a certificate of authenticity.
The piece can be viewed during the auction, upon appointment. Please contact us.

Be art-tribal-africain  pro

Catawiki member since January 17, 2018, received 11 reviews in total (11 in last 12 months)

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Shipping costs

United States $37.47
Austria $25.13
Belgium $8.00
Canada $44.55
China $44.55
Denmark $25.13
France $13.71
Germany $20.56
Greece $31.99
Hong Kong, China $44.55
Ireland $28.56
Italy $25.13
Luxembourg $13.71
Netherlands $13.71
Norway $31.99
Poland $28.56
Portugal $28.56
Spain $25.13
Sweden $28.56
Switzerland $31.99
Taiwan $44.55
United Kingdom $20.56
Rest of Europe $25.13
Anywhere else $60.55

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You can pick up this lot from the seller: Ghlin (Hainaut), Belgium.

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