We use cookies to deliver a reliable and personalised ArtQuidexperience. By browsing ArtQuid, you agree to our use of cookies.

Log in

  Lost password

New on ArtQuid?

Create Your Free Account
Sign up Sell your Art
  1. Art Prints
  2. Paintings
  3. Drawings
  4. Photography
  5. Digital Art
  6. Themes
  7. Staff Picks ♡
  8. More
Large songye Shield - African Tribal Art Gallery. Songye - Basonge People - Congo Drc Galerie De La Louve Arts Premiers
Large songye shield (Ngabo)

Adorned with the miniature representation of a Kifwebe mask

Large shield, with polychrome decoration of concentric lines alternating the three fetish colors of Basongye, white, red and black. The small central mask, carved in very high relief and framed by two small colored circles gives the object a remarkable dynamic. There is a handle on the back. Like most shields in both public and private collections, this one is carved in a light and soft wood essence
Provenance: Belgian-French collection
A shield with a very similar decoration, harvested by j Walraevens between 1895 and 1922, is preserved in the Tervuren Museum. (Objets, signes de l'Afrique p169, n ° 5 inv. 38302, See bibliography)
According to Dunja Hersak and most of the authors, it seems almost certain that these shields were not intended for combat and served rather as symbolic and emblematic of power.
For Joseph Cornet, they were hanging on the walls of huts belonging to the Kifwebe society and the small central mask would be the guardian of this hut (Arts of Black Africa, p264, see bibliography)
In «Shields» (p88, see bibliography), the author evokes the possibility that they were used as flags to lead the warriors in combat, or as gifts.


Type of object: Shield (Ngabo)
Ethnical group: Songye – Basongye – Songe.
Country of origin: Democratic Republic Congo (ex Zaïre, ex Belgian Congo).
Material: Wood, dimensions: About 34 1/2 X 14 1/4 X 8 3/4 inches
Condition: Medium - Correct (Please have a look on the pictures)

- Objets Signes d'Afrique, textes réunis par Luc de Heusch, «Couleurs, Stries et Saillies», Dunja Hersak, S. D. Snoek, Pages 161- 173
- Shields, Africa, Southeast Asia and Oceania from the collection Barbier-Mueller Museum, Jean-Paul Barbier, Alain-Michel Boyer, P. Benitez-Johannot, Prestel, 2000
- Boucliers d’Afrique, d’Asie du Sud-Est et d’Océanie du musée Barbier-Mueller, Jean-Paul Barbier, Alain-Michel Boyer, P. Benitez-Johannot, Adam Biro, 1998
- Arts d'Afrique Noire, dans la collection Barbier Mueller, présenté par Werner Schmalenbach, Fondation Maeght, 1989 p264 Notice de Joseph Cornet
- Songye; la redoutable statuaire Songye d'Afrique Centrale, François Neyt, Fonds Mercator, 2009.
- Songye masks and figure sculpture, Dunja Hersak London 1985
Large songye Shield - African Tribal Art Gallery
Collectibles and Objects of Art,  Old weapons
Author: Songye - Basonge People - Congo Drc
36.5 x  87.5 cm  /   14.4 x  34.4 in
Weight 5 kg   /  11.02 lbs
Origin: Arts of Africa  /   Authenticity / Provenance: Original  /  
Posted: july 12, 2019 / Modified: july 12, 2019
Copyright Galerie De La Louve Arts Premiers

Large songye Shield - African Tribal Art Gallery
1,750 €  1,243 £  1,995 $ 
Available for sale
Galerie De La Louve Arts Premiers
Galerie De La Louve Arts Premiers
Art dealer Pro
La Louvière, Belgium
View more similar artworks
Exhibit a similar artwork

Select language

  1. Deutsch
  2. English
  3. Español
  4. Français