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african artifact, created for ritual purposes.
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African art > African Chair > Luba Seat
Kneeling and supporting the circular tray of a seat, a female figure forms the receptacle of a deceased sovereign leader (Luba, Roberts). The scarifications of the female figure, protruding, on spikes, surround the umbilical, the centre of the world. associated with lineage, and those of the lower abdomen, horizontal, symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona , or kioni or kipona, kiona, according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and protective spirits and ancestors, where symbolically and spiritually past and present mingle. It was once the seat on which the king was inducted mulopwe. The seats were arranged on leopard skins at the inauguration of the new leader. It was only after sitting there that his address was royal and divine. Apart ...
African art > African Statues > Statuette Congo
Wearing a cap and a uniform, this colonist character adopts an attitude of "attention to you". Patina of different ochre browns. Missing under one foot.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between the current DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by a council of tribal governors. The king, also known as ntotela, controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials. The nganga, both healers and healers, were responsible for religious ...
African art > Shields > Boa Shield
This shield is adorned with a mask pattern with oversized ears, perforated like the ear pavilions of the Eastern Boa, an operation called " bavobongo ". Supposed to make invulnerable and in order to terrify the enemy, the mask of African art kpongadomba of the Boa, or Pongdudu, was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior. It was then kept in his wife's hut. It conferred an impressive aspect to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors.
Farmers close to the Mangbetu and Zande, the Boa live in the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa are said to have used these masks for educational purposes with children, since the pacification of the Uele region.
Matt granular patina. Abrasions, indigenous restoration.
African art > African Dolls > Tabwa doll
Used by the female initiation society, this tubular carved figure is endowed with female attributes and a protruding umbilicus, scarifications comparable to those, traditional, of the members of the tribe, and has a patina color honey.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") are an ethnic group present in the southeast of the DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they federated around tribal chiefs after being influenced by the Luba. It is mainly during this period that their artistic current expressed itself mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced the cult of ancestors and dedicated some of their statues called mkisi to them. Animist, their beliefs are anchored around the ngulu, spirits of nature present in plants and rocks.
The Luba dominated the ...
African art > African mask > Kwele Mask
Mask of contrasting colors symbolizing the light and clairvoyance necessary to fight against the forces of witchcraft, it has a horn falling laterally in front of the elongated face in which the arches are dug in the heart. This attribute is associated with the elephant. This type of mask was not always intended to be worn, but it adorned the walls of the huts. Satin patina, abrasions.br />
Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are named pibibibudzé , Ekuku zokou , etc...and are associated with ancestors or spirits of the forest, " ekuk ".
Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in the forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live from hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult named Bwété borrowed ...
African art > African fetish > Songye Fetish
Statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi )whose top horn is absent. The power of the fetish, according to Songye beliefs, is reinforced by the presence of its accessories, such as metal and various additions of materials, vegetable fibers, animal skins, dried fruits, etc... Light brown patina. Minimal cracks.
These protection fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi 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 sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that ...
African art > Usual african items > Dogon Box
Decorated with bas-relief motifs and horse heads, this African art sculpture was probably designed to preserve active medicinal preparations prepared according to the advice of elders who had been introduced to the science of trees or . jiridon. The figures of 'nommos', primordial ancestors, and animal symbols are supposed to activate the healing power of the actives. One of the Nommos, ancestors of men, resurrected by the creator god Amma, descended on the earth carried by an arch transformed into a horse. In addition, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious leader named Hogon, paraded on his mount during his induction because it was customary for him not to set foot on the ground. In the region of the cliffs of Sangha, inaccessible on horseback, the priests wore it, ...
African art > African Statues > League Figurines
African lega art and initiation materials.
Anthropomorphic statuette with a spherical head carried by thick bent legs. Among the many others used during initiations, it belonged to an initiate of the Bwami. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to submit to costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of Bwami, the kongabulumbu ,at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations lasted seven days and included at least ...
African art > African Statues > Phemba figure
The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rites, particularly through nkondo nkisi.
This finely detailed female figure, wearing a dignitary's headdress, symbol of the mythical ancestor probably associated with fertility cults, is represented kneeling in an attitude of respect or supplication. Scarifications are scattered on her bust. These cuts, made with needles, knives and razors, were then coated with coal or ashes to accelerate healing and form prominent patterns. Abrasions. Matt patina.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between the current DRC, Angola and Gabon. ...
African art > African mask > Guéré Mask
The African mask Guéré is reputed to be a complex piece both in terms of shapes and, often, also materials. Here it consists of a combination of globular, tubular, crunchy growths, around which wood, leather and textile fibers are clumped in a crustal coating.
Prior to the 1960s, masks, whose development was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dancing, singing, hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the lineage of the dancer.
If the mask has a social function, such as when it is required by the chief to order certain work, it may also be used to entertain the villagers.
African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe
This statue, symbol of power, glorifies the ancestor and mythical hero founder of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga. The chief, with oversized palms and feet, has an impressive noble headdress. Easily recognizable thanks to this large headdress with curved side wings (cipenya-mutwe) which was made of a wicker frame covered with fabric, brass, leather, and pearls, he had taught his people the art of hunting. The dignitaries presented themselves cross-legged in suits, which is confirmed by an African proverb: "The elder sitting cross-legged wishes to be greeted with respect" "By the allusion to the circle of his cross-legged legs, the chief conveys the blessings of a life in full orbit". ("The Kongo gesture", ed. Dapper Museum) The chief claps his hands as a sign of welcome and to ...
African art > African Statues > Statue Fang
Covered with braids gathered in three top shells, the horizontal lips forming a wide pout, this reliquary figure displays the characteristics of the Ntumu style from the regions between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Matt oily patina, eroded areas. Lacks in the feet.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are kept. These boxes were kept by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as a guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were meant to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the "So" society. During ...