Male Figure (nkishi)

Male Figure (nkishi)

late 1800s-early 1900s

Wood, glass beads, brass (including upholstery studs), copper alloy, iron alloy, raffia, reedbuck antelope horn, rawhide, animal hair, human teeth, organic material, minerals, and plant fibers

Overall: 64 x 24.5 x 24 cm (25 3/16 x 9 5/8 x 9 7/16 in.)

René and Odette Delenne Collection, Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 2010.451


Did you know?

Researchers conducted x-ray scanning on this figure, revealing its internal structure and human teeth, an antelope horn, and animal hair.


This Male Figure is an accumulation of wood, copper sheet, rows of flat iron pins, antelope horn, braided fiber ropes, black and white beads, and raffia. It is attributed to the Songye peoples of southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo and was created in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. Referred to as a power figure, this object would have been central to communal life, acting as an intercessor between spiritual and temporal worlds. It was first sold in an auction by Galerie Modernes in Brussels to the private collectors René and Odette Delenne in 1958. In 2010 the Cleveland Museum of Art acquired the sculpture.

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