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Democratic Republic of Congo

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46. Songye community fetish figure, D.R.C.,
wood, raffia, metal, hair, horn, skin, 33" (83.5 cm)
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46. Songye community fetish figure, D.R.C.,
            wood, raffia, metal, hair, horn, skin, 33" (83.5 cm)
  These large figures, called Mankishi, belonged to the entire community and were important for stabilising political power and social control. They were covered with objects and attachments- some such as leopardís teeth symbolised power, others made reference to important figures in Songye society, the healers, hunters and blacksmiths. Magical substances thought to possess supernatural powers were placed in special cavities carved into the Mankishi, or in a horn placed in the head. The appearance of the Mankishi changed as new objects were attached to them regularly, while older objects underwent ongoing change.

Collection of Dimondstein Tribal Arts

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