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Creator Name: Songye
Creator Nationality: African; Central African; Congolese
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Name-CRT: Songye
Title: Male Figure
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1800
Creation End Date: 1899
Creation Date: 19th Century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: wood, horn, brass tacks, metalwork, glass beads, fiber, leather
Dimensions: H.37 x W.10-3/4 x D.11-1/4 in. (figure)
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 89.59
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund

Many groups in the Congo make sculptures in human form that are centers of spiritual power. Among Songye people, these are usually male figures, posed to convey authority and power. The materials attached to them; metal, feathers, animal skins, and horns filled with magical substances all represent natural and supernatural powers associated with the figure and its use in the community. In most cases, figures like these are deactivated by their ritual keepers before they leave the community.

Large figures like this example are communally owned, while smaller figures are kept by individual families.

AMICA ID: MIA_.89.59
Component Measured: Horns
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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