Songye Power Figure - D.R. Congo

This compact and compelling nkisi is a beautiful example of its type. A powerful emissary to the dead and a vital part of the fabric of Songye ritual life, the nkisi is one of the most distinctive art forms in the Songye tradition. Its unmistakable cranial spike and imposing, mask-like face arrest the viewer’s attention, which is further rewarded by textural nuances of metal, raffia, and hide.


Songye
Wood, raffia, hide, metal, snake skin, organic matter
Late 19th or early 20th century
Ex Merton Simpson; important private USA collection
#182
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