Around 1980 - Very good condition
Dimensions: 90 x 20 cm.
Weight: 2,480 kilograms.
These spectacular fetishes are among the most valued of Africa and are used by the Songye.
The Nkishi is a medium between the divine and humans.
In case of infertility, illness or threat, they have recourse to the Nganga (sorcerer). Then, he crafts a Bwanga (plural: Manga) which enables to achieve the desired goal, whether it is to procreate, to heal, to get protection against misfortune, lightening, or to perform a successful hunt.
A Bwanga is an object or a set of specific objects, in which the sorcerer incorporates the Bishimba or mixtures of secret ingredients.
The Nkishi is a particular form of Bwanga which has an anthropomorphic shape. The Bishimba are incorporated in the cavities located in the navel and in the head.
We can distinguish two main kinds of Mankishi: one is used to protect the entire village and to ensure the fertility of women, whereas the second one is crafted for a personal use or for a use related to a family.
The first kind is generally of an important size, they can measure between 60 and 100 cm, or more, the second type is of a smaller size.
Besides the incorporation of the Bishimba, the sorcerer will add other matters, such as skin, fur, brass nails and plates, horn, shells...
Once they were crafted and activated by the Nganga, the personal Mankishi’s (also named Kankishi) were placed on domestic altars.
The Mankishi’s of the community were kept in a special sanctuary, generally located in the centre of the village, and then entrusted to a guardian supposed to detain powers of communication and the ability to translate the words of the Nkishi, under medium influence.
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