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African art > African mask > Tschokwe Mask
Among the many African masks akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) of African tribal art Chokwe, the powerful male counterpart of the Mwana Pwo mask is the cihongo . He's here with feathers. The characteristic motifs on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic significance. Always worn by dancers of royal blood, this mask embodying a spirit symbolizes power and wealth. He also intervened, at times, on occasion judgments.
The masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are named in Zambia as 'makishi' (sing. likishi). This name comes from 'kishi', a Bantu concept that evokes the manifestation ...
African art > African mask > Baoulé Mask
Small African mask Baoulé, called portrait mask or Ndoma, which combines a face lashed with dark red, locally chipped, and ram horns symbolizing endurance and strength. Crack in the upper outline and restored on the left horn.
These portraits of the Baoulé, ndoma, which are part of one of the oldest baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the peculiarity of manifesting themselves at the end of the entertainment dance ceremonies. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of personalities, staging various satirical ...
African art > African Statues > Statuette Punu
This statuette dedicated to the worship of ancestors, rites of healing or divination, presents a face inscribed with a characteristic ethnic mark, 'mabinda', carved in relief, and on the bust of scarifications in diamond. These patterns were scarified on the skin of teenagers. Clear abrad patina, desicting cracks on the head.
The Punu are a Bantu people of Central Africa based mainly in southern Gabon, also in the Republic of Congo in the Niari region. They live in independent villages divided into clans and families. Social cohesion is ensured by the Moukouji society, whose essential role is to subjugate the evil spirits of the forest.
African art > African Statues > Statuette Ndengese
The female ancestor is depicted kneeling, hands on thighs. The flared hairstyle, sometimes topped with a top horn, is characteristic of the hairstyles acquired by the heads Totshi belonging to the association ikoho and evokes particular proverbs. It symbolizes respect, intelligence and maturity. Embossed losangic scarifications, corresponding to a symbolic and other purely decorative graphics, are traced on the bust. Dark brown patina abraded.
Central African population based in Kasai, a neighbour of the Kuba, the Ndengese form one of the clans of a common ancestor Mongo, some of them from the Upper Nile. They produced first art statues with absent or truncated lower limbs, covered with graphic symbols, symbolizing the prestige of the leader. These statues were placed on the graves ...
African art > African Statues > Statuette Ndop
Incarnation of the king in African art Kuba
These sculptures reproducing in a reduced version the large effigies of Ndop kings were intended to promote births. Locally chipped black skate. Low desication cracks.
Suring origin for his subjects, the king with the visor hairstyle shody is depicted sitting in a suit on the royal stage, unable to touch the ground. This statue considered magical was carved from termite-resistant wood. The symbol ibol associated with his reign, allowing him to be identified, is here a scepter surmounted by a bird figure. As leader of both the kingdom and the bushoong chiefdom, 'nyim', supernatural abilities from witchcraft or ancestors were attributed to him. He therefore ensured the peregity of his subjects, whether through the harvests, the rain or ...
African art > African mask > Luluwa Mask
The Lulua, or Béna Lulua from West Africa, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their caste-based social structure is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, mulalenga wa nkashaama, as well as the head of the Leopard Society and statuettes mbulenga related to the spirits of nature. Despite Kalamba Mukwenge's attempt at the end of the 19th century to eradicate traditional cults by using autodafés, the religious system was maintained, such as the fertility cult tshibola. The Luluwa's distinctive eye-watering face is accompanied by the warrior's headdress and a sculpted beard divided into five braids. Curvilinear and keloid patterns in lozenges alternate on the surface. Light abrasions, red ...
African art > African fetish > Figure Buyu
This janiform sculpture with hollowed-out pupils, projected into large bleached cavities, is carried by a base evoking traditional African stools. This object is associated with the worship of the water spirit Kalunga , among the many spirits of nature revered by the Buyu. The Bembe have comparable statuettes. Satiny patina, desication cracks.
Fral flows have mixed Bembe, Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo, Binji and Bangubangu, within the same territories. The Bassikassingo , considered by some to be a sub-clan Buyu , are not of bembe origin although they live on their territory, as Biebuyck's work has traced their history. Organized in lineages, they borrowed the association of the Bwami Lega. The traditions bembé and boyo are relatively similar They venerate the spirits of nature, water ...
African art > African mask > Punu Mask
Refinement of Gabon's white African masks in a contemporary version.
This African mask features coffee bean eyelids, a narrow mouth with protruding lips, and scarification patterns, in nine scales, 'mabinda', are inscribed on the forehead and temples; a thick raffia trim, embellished with cursings and colorful pearl necklaces, highlights the contours. These hairstyles come in different forms and illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. A basket helmet, covered with canvas, extends the double top shell at the back.
The okuyi masks were displayed during rituals with very ancient origins in which dancers mounted on stilts agitated in order to invoke the spirit of a deceased with a mask depicting a beautiful young woman.
This rituals took place during ...
African art > African mask > Luba Mask
However, this rounded mask with similarities to the Songye masks did not have the same function. This category of rather rare African masks are named "bifwebe". They appeared at funerals and investitures. They performed during the ritual ceremonies of the society kazanzi , charged with fighting witchcraft. According to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "Bifwebe" (Sing.: kifwebe) would mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "ching death". Worn with a voluminous raffia collar that concealed the dancer, this mask was usually danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. In the Luba, white is synonymous with the relationship with the spiritual world, by the evocation of the moon evoked by the circular shape of the object. The globular eyelids are hollowed out, like the nostrils and mouth. Parallel stripes are ...
African art > African mask > Teke Mask
Only the Tsaayi, among Gabon's Téké subgroups, produced wooden masks as early as the mid-19th century. They were used by members of the secret male brotherhood kidumu (the kidumu is the name of society, dance, and mask), dances at the funerals of village notables or at weddings and other important ceremonies. Since Congo's independence, they have appeared more and more at the celebrations of rejoicing. This sculpture using the plank mask is not fitted with eye perforations and could be a box mask.
The pictograms of the Téke masks emphasize oppositions symbolizing duality in the universe: circular, they are divided horizontally by a band and their surface is decorated with geometric patterns painted with white, red, black or ochre pigments. In addition to lunar symbolism, these ...
African art > African mask > Igbo Mask
This Igbo African mask called Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, thanks to narrow slits for the eyes, a face with sharp features coated in white, traditionally pointed teeth, scarifications and tattoos. The headdress is made up of large braids. Chipped kaolin patina, abrasions. The white color of the gbo-gho-mmwo body refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means 'spirit of the dead', especially of young girls, although it is worn by young men in order to honor the spirit of the earth.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They managed to associate a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. Their political ...
African art > African Reliquary > Head Fang
African art and funeral rites
A large head with the concave face characteristic of the Betsi style, with cabochon pupils, is topped with braids accessorized with metallic bells. Restorations were carried out using resin and metal staples. Mate crusty patina.
Fach the Fangs of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a Byeri, or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the esa. The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as the guardian of the 'byeri' boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to society. So, so. The term Angokh means ...
African art > African mask > Mende Mask
In African art, sowei form an idealized representation of female beauty through Mende culture. They embody aquatic spirits. This cephalomorphic mask forms a copy of the type of masks named bundu the most important in the Mendes. The face has a high bulging forehead forming the top half. The features are concentrated tightly in the lower part, which is engulfed in a neck where the folds symbolizing prosperity appear an abundance of flesh. Painted black or tinted with a leaf brush, the mask was then rubbed with palm oil. Semi-saturated patien, grainy residual inlays, erosions, slight cracks of desication.br-The cultures Mende, Vaï and Gola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the west coast of Guinea, are known in African art for masks and especially those of the women's initiation society Sandé ...