Songye Nkishi head
  • Songye Nkishi head

Songye Nkishi head


Ring neck mankishi

The vast territory inhabited by the Songye, the relatively low demographic density and the cultural and stylistic influences of neighboring ethnic groups can explain the great differences in composition that characterize the statuary of this people.

In the eastern and central part, a particular stylistic element that is rarely found elsewhere in traditional African Songye art is represented by the ringed neck, sometimes hyper-longiform.

This trait is common to the representations of the ancestral figures of the Hemba, a people settled to the east of the Songye.

The ringed neck could therefore be an ancient stylistic element whose analysis of the geographical distribution in the south-east of the Congo appears very relevant. We find it on this late piece.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
20th c.
29 cm (32 cm with support)
Ethnic group
Songye / Basongye
Wood, accessories
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Tribal art collection Belgium

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