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The 150,000 Songye settled in the south-east of the country are divided into numerous sub-groups. The Songye are governed by a central chief whose role demands that he obey special restrictive laws such as not showing grief, not drinking in public and not shaking hands with men. The Songye have a strong interest in magic, which affects many aspects of their lives. The history of the Songye is closely linked to the Luba’s, to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songye carvers excel in the production of fetishes and expressionistic masks. The fetishes are intended to ward off evil, to preserve the tribe or the family from hostile powers, sorcerers or evil spirits, and to aid fertility.
(The fetish is not intended to stand)