N8S3S756S.jpg (30999 bytes)N8S3S756.jpg (40098 bytes)Songye (Basonge, Bayembe, Songe, Wasonga), Democratic Republic of the Congo

Dance and Musical Instrument. The Songye created a sculptural style of intense dynamism and vitality. The works of Songye craftsmen are often used within the secret societies during various ceremonies. The figures are used to ensure the success, fertility, and wealth and to protect people against hostile forces as lightning, as well as against diseases such as smallpox, very common in that region. The Songye produced a large number of figures belonging to the fetishist, who manipulates them during different rituals. This figurine was apparently used during the dances; during the performance the dancer was manipulating it and produced rhythmic sounds by beating the gourd forming the base of the statue.

Material:  wood, gourd, feathers

Size: 18”x 7”x 8”