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The standing male figure is found throughout Songye statuary art. It is attributed to the Songye peoples of the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo and was created in the decades around the turn of the 20th century. Referred to as a standing male figure, this object would have been central to the communal life, acting as an intercessor between spiritual and temporal worlds.

Culture and Traditions

Songhai-Zarma people included the kings and warriors, the scribes, the artisans, the weavers, the hunters, the fishermen, the leather workers and hairdressers (Wanzam), and the domestic slaves (Horso, Bannye). Each caste reveres its own guardian spirit. The Kingdom of Songhai, or Songhay, developed from a community of fishermen who lived along the Niger River and were skilled canoeists. During the 9th century they became part of the state of Songhai and began trading with Muslim traders in Gao, which than became part of the kingdom.

Donation Details

Robert E. Levy donated in the year 2003.


The Appraised Amount is $10,000.00.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

J. B . Coleman Library


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