SALE END DATE AND TIME
July 31, 2016 : SALE CLOSED
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|Songye, Democratic Republic of Congo|
This is a powerful, emotive sculpture that successfully conveys the meaning of the term nkishi, a meaning that implies power beyond itself, which can transmit energy, settle conflicts and disputes, and emit power that can be used for meeting and overcoming the most challenging of objectives. The figure is over 100 years old, and by having undergone oil and libation applications, shows a grittiness that makes it very appealing. The holes in the top of the head and belly were created for magical substances which, once added, "charged the figure" and gave it the power to impact human existence. It is believed that the metal attachment is affixed so that the “non-initiated” could hold or carry the piece without touching it, as touching the figure itself was only possible if one had a position within the tribe the allowed it.
Among the Songye, figural sculptures, mankishi (singular nkishi), are instruments used to bring good fortune, protect, heal, and counteract evil. While a carver produces the wooden figure, a ritual specialist, nganga, adds a multitude of substances and objects that give nkishi its power and enhance its visual impact. Richly personal nkishis like this are imbued with an individualized identity, given a name, and treated as an individual.
|Lot ID: 46|
|Low Estimate: $3,500|
|High Estimate: $4,500|
|Next Bid: $1,750|
|Sale ID: 6|
|Sale Date: July 28, 2016|
|Sale Location: Virtual Auction|
|Sale Sponsor: African Artworks from Berz Gallery of African Art|
|Sale Terms: View here|
|Live Bidding Link: SALE CLOSED|
|Location of Origin: Africa|
|Medium/Materials: wood (one piece), oils, fiber, metal, old nail|
|Dimensions: 4.75" (12.06 cm) height x 2.5" (6.35 cm) width|
|Primary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Country - Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Secondary Classification: African Artwork, Ethnographic & Tribal Arts : African Art : Object Type - Statue|
|About the Songye Tribe: During the 16th century, the Songye migrated from the Shaba area, which is now the southern part of the D.R. Congo, and settled on the left bank of the Lualaba River, on a savannah and forest-covered plateau. Divided into numerous sub-groups, the 150,000 Songye people are governed by a central chief, the Yakitenge, whose role demands that he obey special restrictive laws, such as not showing grief, not drinking in public, and not shaking hands with men. In addition, local rulers, the Sultani Ya Muti, distribute plots of land to their villagers and an influential secret society, Bwadi Bwa Kifwebe, counterbalances their power. Unlike their neighbors, the Luba, the Songye tribe is a patriarchal society in which agriculture is central to the economy (Ref: Bacquart, "Tribal Arts of Africa"; Meyer, "Art and Craft in Africa", "Art and Power in the Central African Savanna", C Petridis, Cleveland Museum of Art.|
Lot 46,47,48 Songye Nkisi Field Photo source Boris Kegel Konietzko 1959
|Provenance: Ex. Philippe Laeremans, Brussels, Ex. Private Collection, Belgium; Exhibition History: Vetted by a committee of tribal art experts as authentic and exhibited by Galerie Philipe Laermans at BRUNEAF, Brussels, January 2016|
|Price:||Price on Request|
|Offered By:||CLOSED: African Artworks : 146 Lots : July 28-30|
|Contact:||The Curator's Eye|
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