Nkisi Power Figure
Songye, Democratic Republic of Congo. Early 20th Century
Provenance: Ladislas Segy, one of the early dealers in African Art in New York.
Nkisi power figures have been spiritually endowed with power by a Songye "nganga", or diviner. A diviner inserts magical substances into the figure's head, abdomen and shoulders. In this example, remains of such magical attachments are visible on top of the figure's head and at the base of the abdomen. The Songye produce large numbers of fetish figures, and the idiosyncratic design and the size of this example suggest that it was used for personal devotion. Small Nkisi figures such as these can exhibit a wide range of stylistic features, however the wide nose, geometric body, and long pointed facial profile are synonymous with Songye aesthetics.
H: 7 in
IN 03-13-15/ Price on request