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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wé mask
Originally designed to frighten, this heavy African mask carved from dense wood, inlaid with brass nails, has various growths imprisoning its features.
Abrasions and desiccation cracks.
It is mainly in the west of the Ivory Coast that the Bété use masks whose style has been influenced by the gla mask society glaé of the Wobé and Guéré populations, together referred to as Wé or "the men who forgive easily", himself belonging to the group cultural Krou , these traditions having been transmitted to them and taught by the Nyabwa .
Of warlike origin but also participating in the resolution of conflicts, this sacred mask is worn accompanied by amulets which protect its wearer from its power against witchcraft. It is in order to strengthen his power through the exercise of ...
View details Wé mask
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figure
This sculpture of African tribal art is believed, for the Yoruba of Nigeria, to facilitate communication with the sacred.
Locally flaking crusty polychrome patina, desiccation cracks.
The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the political structure of the Yoruba . The Oyo created two cults centered on the still active Egungun and Sango societies, which worshiped a pantheon of gods, the Orisa< /i> , through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, scepters and divination supports. The slave trade helped spread Yoruba beliefs across continents.
African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Scepter
Featuring a deified ancient king, a figure of a horseman sculpted in the round associated with the sango cult forms the pommel of this ceremonial object. The equine, rare in the region, constituted a prestigious attribute which was reserved for the nobility and the sovereigns. Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion is based on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by the sculptors at the request of the followers, soothsayers and their customers. Polychrome patina.
The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. They are patrilineal, practice excision and circumcision. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the disappearance of ...
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan Mask
Identifiable thanks to its look bandaged with red textile, the African maskdan entitledzapkei ge is responsible for watching over domestic fires in order to prevent fires. It is accessorized with long braided plant fiber braids. Smooth black patina.
br>For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in the west of Ivory Coast and in Liberia, the "dü" force which would animate the world would manifest itself in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that she seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to provide him with support, and first uses the channel of dreams. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to see made. These masks of different types are endowed with social, spiritual and political functions, often evolving over time.
Lit. : "African Masks from the Barbier ...
African art > Head rest > Kenya neck support
African sculpture, an everyday object aimed at enhancing the status of its user, an expression of African art, this headrest monoxyle or even "dream support" has a braided strap. It constitutes, for the tribes of Kenya and Uganda, a pillow to preserve, during sleep, the elaborate headdresses. It could also be used as a stool.
Among the Turkana, they are offered to the future wife as a wedding vow, and returned to the man in case of refusal. Among the Pokot established in the region from Lake Turkana to Lake Baringo, it is the present which marks the ceremonies of the passage to adulthood or even a reward for a victory during a conflict.
Headrests frequently take the stylized form of an animal, cattle being of utmost importance to the pastoralist tribes of East Africa.
Glossy brown ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Teke Statue
African sculpture biteke (carved figure) embodying a clan ancestor. The hollowed bust houses the magic charge called " Bonga " or "bilongo", which was generally fixed or concealed by a textile. This symbolism refers to the Téké belief that the abdomen conceals wisdom. These fetishes were placed on the altars of the chiefs.
Matte patina, colored highlights. erosions.
Established between the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized into chiefdoms whose chief was often chosen from among the blacksmiths. The chief of the clan, ngantsié , kept the great protective fetish tar mantsié which supervised all the ceremonies. It is the powerful sorcerer healer and diviner who "loaded" with magic elements, against payment, the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ekoi Statue
Boki statues in African art.
The Boki, Bokyi, live along the Nigerian border northwest of Mamfe. They speak an eponymous language and are part of the Benoué. Most are Christianized.
The Boki practiced the cult of the Leopard Spirit, whose aggressive and unpredictable character was expressed through symbols.
This representation of a standing ancestor, hands placed on the abdominal protrusion, the seat of knowledge, is distinguished by its naturalism.
Linear scarifications on the face are historically common in this region.
Thick patina locally chipped, chips, abrasions.
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Aduma Mask
African mask of the Mbudi, Mvudi (for the Nzébi) and Mvuli (Mbédé) type, very schematized where the front forms a double projection. The dancer is adorned with attributes supposed to give him the qualities of certain animals, such as the panther, the genet or the monkey. He is equipped with scepters made of monkey hair.
Matte patina, abraded.
The Aduma are an ethnic group established in central Gabon, in a mountainous region. The Adouma, “men of the river” or “master piroguiers”, have long lived on the banks of the Ogooué, upstream and downstream of Lastourville between the reaches of Doumé and Bounji. Formerly used for judicial purposes, the mask of great sobriety, called mvoudi, bodi, or even yoyo , is used today during entertainment dances. Mbudi is the male initiation ...
African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Mambila Cap
Unusual object, this ceremonial hat, in conical basketry coated with colored pigments. It is embellished with a series of figures carved in the image of African statues Kiké ntadep, tadep.
Despite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambila, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea)(the "men", in Fulani), settled in the northwest of Cameroon, created a large number of masks and statues easily identified by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creator god named Chang or Nama, they only worship their ancestors. Their leaders were buried in granaries like wheat as they were believed to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Fang Mask
Rituals of justice and African masks Fang.
A triple rib shares the forehead of this mask, extending over the bridge of the nose. The eyelids and the philtrum surmounting the projection of pursed lips are hatched, accentuating the solemn aspect of the face.
Dense wood, dry abraded patina. Cracks of desiccation, erosions.
The appearance of these masks coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. This type of mask was used by the male ngil society in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft.
Semi-matte two-tone patina. Abrasions.
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Sao Bronze
Used as an amulet credited with apotropaic virtues, this small African sculpture in bronze constitutes, for the Sao, a talisman supposed to protect them from madness. It is therefore worn permanently.
The genius who possesses the madman is represented by the rider, the horse representing the victim.
The Sao, ancestors of the Kotoko, were established between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area extending over the borders between Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria.
Subjected to successive attacks from their neighbors in Kanem and then to hordes from the East, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in the North-West of Cameroon where they mixed with the natives, thus giving birth to the Kotokos.
The Kotoko still attribute today to the copper metal a mythical origin ...
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish
Resulting from the cooperation between the nganga, the sculptor and the client, the sculpture was charged with the bishimba elements intended to "counter" any harmful power.
A unique accessory stands out here in the form of a necklace of colored beads. Perched on a small dome, the male figure has rounded proportions and a face with the features of the kifwebe mask.
Satin patina, abrasions and desication cracks.
The fetish Songye, magic sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. Their society is ...