Anne Glazer in her homestead
A Songye “Janus” horn (fetish)
The founders of the Songye emerged from the lake region in Shaba province to the south in the heart of the Luba homeland (Kasai- eastern part of the D.R.C).
The Lomani River divides Songye territory and marks the boundary of the areas invaded by the Luba.
Because of these geographic and political differences there emerged of two distinct social structures among the eastern and western Songye and two stylistic differences in art forms between the two areas.
The Songye are divided into about 35 subgroups.
The paramount chief (Yakitenge) and his advisers are the central power in territory. Many of the subgroups were actually quite large, were often spread over many miles, and were densely populated.
The Songye traditionally relied mostly on farming and hunting for subsistence.
Because the rivers were associated with the spirits of deceased chiefs who were often buried in them, fishing was therefore not practiced.
The current horn is a utilitarian object, which distinctive decorated Songye hallmarks, and belonged to an "nganga" and for this reason paraphernalia concerning the trade is rare and desirable.
Ref no: 49
An elegant Kuba skin drum
The African drum is the most important musical instrument in the life of the village and in the life of the court.
Drums are a crucial element in the performance of important events, or deaths and for ritual dances.
Drums could be heard at great distances and were signals of an approaching event.
In the hands of an expert, these drums could be many things: a musical instrument, a ritual object, a vessel of energy, or the mouthpiece of spirits.
The two major groups of drums are the skin drum and the split drum and there is a great variety in sizes, shapes and carvings.
The importance which was given to the drums can be seen by the delicacy of the carvings, the form and the representation of faces.
This handsome drum with its finely curved body is in fact a sculpture as well as a work of art, and is a beautiful example of Kuba workmanship and the height enabled it to be played standing.
Provenance: acquired from Kuba king N'boeupe Mabiintsh III and is part from the Royal treasury.
Ref no: 117
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