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6191Re: [African_Arts] Songye Figure

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    Apr 4, 2013
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      I have seen a figure like this in African Sculpture by Fagg and Plass.

      The description seemed to indicate the figure was a power figure, meant to accumulate and concentrate magical energies related to the objects it is covered with, energies  perhaps reinforced through ritual.

      Cultures that describe nature as imbued with spirit, as most, if not all classical African cultures do, understand this force as manifest in various ways through various forms.

      Magic is worked in such cultures partly through assembling natural forms the combination of which is understood to create certain effects.

      More information on this theory of nature can be found in

      The Return of the Gods : The Sacred Art of Susan Wenger by Ulli Beier [This book is priceless. All books by Wenger are also priceless.Her magnum opus is A Life with the Gods. Bookfinder. com is a good place to source it.]

      African Religions and Philosophy by John Mbiti

      Obatala : Ifa and the Chief of the Spirit  the White Cloth by Awo Falokunj Fatumnbi, available at the free archive Scribd

      A Google image search using the image and the term 'Songye' brings up this collection of figures some of which could be seen as similar in structure and composition to your own.

      This seems to me particularly close in form to yours.

      This page explain these forms in some detail.

      On Thu, Apr 4, 2013 at 12:07 AM, eggnog1976 <eggnog1976@...> wrote:

      Hello all,

      Recently, I inherited this African Statue from a friend and I was hoping you could help me indentify it's origin, use and approximate age. He constructed of wood, and at the base there is more rot and deterioration as if he was stuck in the ground. His headgear appears to be made from an armadillo hide, feathers and an animal horn protruding from the top of his head. There are various objects attached to his body including a hemp rope, beads, a horn, and a cow bell. He stands about 33 inches to the top of his horn. I was told it was of the Songye people from the former Belgian Congo area, but that's about it. I know very little about traditional African Art, and any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated.


      kind regards,


      Comparative Cognitive Processes and Systems
      "Exploring Every Corner of the Cosmos in Search of Knowledge"

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