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Object Name: Figure
Culture: Songye peoples
Place of Origin: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Date/Era: 19th century
Medium/Materials: Wood, metal, reptile skin, hide
Dimensions: H: 16.50 cm, W: 4.40 cm, D: 7.00 cm (H: 6.5 in, W: 1.7 in, D: 2.8 in)
Credit Line: Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Accession Number: X65.7493
Though tiny in stature, this figure is carved with the utmost precision, and its makers hand is identifiable in the particular rendering of the fingers, feet, and ears. The figure has attachments in many materials, including reptile skin around its head and two metal plugs filling openings in its head and stomach where medicinal substances were placed for added efficacy. A figure like this was used to summon the spirits for assistance.
Source: Gallery Text,Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006