Songye tribe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Late 19th century
Each Songye village would possess one of these power figures to be brought out during ceremony. Prayers and requests would be asked of the figure - only positive wishes would be granted. Examples include the health of a child or a fruitful yield from the crops. The figures are adorned with the horn of an antelope, feathers from birds of prey, and pelts from powerful animals. Protective amulets were often placed in the chest of the sculpture. This piece is considered so powerful, it is lifted by wooden rods to be carried to the center of the village and never touched by human hands.