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Height: 87.5 Centimeters
Measurements Figure Only
Wood, Vegetal Material, Horn, Metal, Beads, Nails, Bells
Estimated Early 20th Century
Fair - Good
Highly stylized magical fetish angular features adorned with magical attributes varied brown patina
US East Coast - Estimated $25.00
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Documentation of Authenticity / Any
Available Provenance Will Be Included With This Piece.
Wood deterioration, scrapes and chips, lost to attributes, age cracks, worn areas, overall condition fair to good. Thank you and please view my other items.
During the 16th century, the Songye migrated from the Shaba area, which is now the southern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their history is closely linked to the Luba's, to whom the Songye are related through common ancestors. Having waged war against one another for a long time, the Songye and Luba later formed an alliance to fight the Arabs. Songye origins are shared with the Luba through a common mythical Songye ancestor known as Kongolo, who can be traced through lineages to the 16th century. The linguistic traditions of these neighboring peoples are intertwined as well. It is believed that the founders of the Songye emerged from the lake region in Shaba province to the south in the heart of the Luba homeland. Highly stylized masks called the Kifwebe are famous Songye tribal art. These masks have grooved pattern on the face and is a common characteristic. The white paint in the grooves symbolizes peace, light and the purity of the soul. Fetishes of all sizes were also produced by the Songye people and some may adorn multitude of objects which believed to have magical powers for protection. Smaller figures encompassing the Kifwebe mask characteristics are sometimes attributed to the Eastern-style of Songye art.
Painter Fred Uhlman words - Most of the artists I admired, Picasso,
Modigliani, Deraini, to mention only a few, had collected African art and had
been profoundly influenced by it. Shortly afterwards I bought the Baule Fetish
and the Baule bobbin which are still two of the finest pieces in my
collection. It is easy to see why I bought them and why from that moment I
have never stopped collecting. The head of the bobbin or heddle - pulley which
is after all only a functional object for the purpose of weaving seemed to me
then and today as beautiful as a Greek goddess. The fetish moved me as deeply
as the bobbin by its silent tragic dignity and its air of profound meditation.
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Gothamgallery Fine African Art - Drc Songye Magical Fetish - Large Sculpture: $711