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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Baoule
Western influences in Baule African art
Commonly called "colonist" but sometimes embodying a type of "ideal spouse" according to individual criteria, this male figure is distinguished by its polychromy and is represented dressed in a colonial costume. Cracks on the base. Abrasions.
"African Art Western Eyes, Baule," Vogel, pp.253-257.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baule in a ritual context:
Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baule, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the diviners komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the indications of the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Figures
Symbol of animal qualities, this statuette, forming the generic figure of a quadruped (mugugundu) from the Lega environment, belonged to a high-ranking Bwami. Kaolin patina. Eclats.br /-Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the chief, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranked. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. The Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, governed social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi . Bwami has varying ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Figurines
Animal figure with a human face, used during the itinerant rites of the Bwami Lega. Light brown satin patina, residual kaolin incrustations. Copy similar to page 115 of "Art of the Lega" by E.L.Cameron.
The African art of Lega , Balega , or Warega , is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket intended for the highest ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette, Iginga ( Maginga plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiatory stages, the highest being Kindi.
Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the ...
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Can Kuduo
The Ashanti, Asante , mastered the art of lost wax cast iron, copper metal being sacred and considered inferior to gold, in order to produce ritual and prestige objects, such as the Kuduo brass which were intended, in addition to the storage of gold powder, for domestic and royal cults. Sacrifices and offerings were sometimes attributed to them. The stage on the lid of this kuduo evokes life at the court, musicians surround the king sheltered under the royal parasol kyiné, the latter being associated with the protective tree gyedua . The chief was accompanied by this umbrella in all his travels. The decorative motifs around the perimeter, however, are derived from Islamic traditions. Golden patina with grey-green inlays.
Ashanti are one of Ghana's ethnic groups (formerly Côte ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Metoko
The Metoko in African tribal art.
This small statuette with collected volumes is camped on large digitized feet, the hips surrounded by a raffia bond evoking a loincloth. A nasal ridge joining the top of the forehead, eye lozenges, a small mouth drawn in the wood. Numerous scarifications, written in alternating parallel lines, reveal the character's status, which would play a worthy old man who has been a victim of witchcraft, kakungu. In the hollow of these furrows kaolin pigments have become embedded, giving a light beige patina to the object.
Katungu cult statue belonging to the Metoko and Lengola, peoples of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, rare monotheism in Africa. Their company, Bukota, welcoming both men and women, is the equivalent of the ...
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Luba comb
Ex Portuguese African art collection.
The effigies are depicted facing each other, the head at the end of a long ringed neck, resting on the shoulder of the one opposite. They are embracing each other in a curious position, the right leg of one raised to the height of the other's thigh. Both figures have a headdress pulled back behind a squared band, a reference to the elaborate quadrifoliate headdresses of dignitaries. Dark oiled patina, satin sheen, slight lack of one of the teeth of the comb.
African tribal art proves once again that any common object can become an artistic support. The decorative aspect of an object is never its intrinsic function. In African art, any everyday object can be transformed into a masterpiece while keeping its usefulness. The major role played by women ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Luluwa Maternity
Relief motifs, erogenous and symbolic scarifications, embellish this African maternity. This female figure embracing a child has a greyish brown patina. These statuettes were supposed to protect the child and its mother. There are cracks and slight missing parts.
The different types of Luluwa, Lulua, or Béna Lulua statues, with multiple scarifications, glorify local chiefs, maternity, fertility and the female figure. This sculptural art was subject to the influences of neighboring ethnic groups (Chokwe, Luba, Kuba, etc.).
The Lulua, or Bena Lulua, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo from West Africa. Their social structure, based on castes, is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but mainly statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, ...
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye Mask
Specific to the kalebwe region, in the center of Songye country, this African kifwebe mask bears astonishing protruding, curved pupils on either side of a broad sagittal ridge. The striated patterns on the surface are coated with burgundy, black, and cream pigments. Matt patina, erosion of the contours and cracks of desiccation.
Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the male (kilume) generally with a high crest, the female (kikashi) would have a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi).
In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related ...
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yela Mask
This flat and circular African mask was kept in a basket of the lodge belonging to the secret society ekanga . Use patina with residues from a plant brush. Small restoration using wicker. Cracks. Height on a base: 46 cm.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole and Yela are known for their statues, according to D. Biebuck, of the hanged, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing those guilty of violations of the imposed rules to hang. These offences ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa . Disgraced, the bodies of condemned men had no funerals and were buried in the forest. It was during the end-of-initiation ceremonies, ...
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ekoi Mask
Volute cimiers in the African art of Ejagham/Ekoi
A conical base in basketry rises a wooden head stretched out of animal skin. Its headdress, usually composed of horns in volutes, is here topped with ventrus perosnnages. The dancer's costume consisted of a large lattice of raffia ropes, and more recently, cotton cloth. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that their leather softened and adopted a satisfying luster. Leopard societies, such as the male society Kpe, Ngbe among the Aro, used this model of cimiers for initiation ceremonies or funerals of members of the association, but also during agricultural rituals. The hairstyle would represent that of the young women named Moninkim in the end of their traditional imprisonments during which ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Ngbandi
Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
Among the many sculpted objects relating to hasse and magic, this stylized protective female statuette could represent the spirit Ngbirondo acting as guardian of the village. Funeral statues were also used, and couple sculptures yangba and sister, equivalent to the Seto and Nabo ancestors of Ngbaka. The pointed chin and the scarfication on the ridge of the nose is characteristic of the ethnicity. Thick, dark patina, lumpy and cracked.
The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people from the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngbandi live to the east (on the left bank of the Oubangui) and the Ngombe to the south. The initiation of young people, 'gaza' or 'ganza' (which gives strength) in the Ngbaka and Ngbandi, has many similarities, ...
African art > Head rest > Rungu headrest
Three legs support the rectangular top of this African headrest decorated with two similar busts. The glossy wood tray is of a mahogany tone while the statuettes adopt a dark patina.
Very slight erosion.
Tribe of the Tabwa group, the Rungu are established in a region between the D.R.C. (Democratic Republic of Congo), Zambia and Tanzania. Under the influence of the neighboring Lubas and Bemba, the Rungu produced prestigious objects for dignitaries, stools, combs, spoons and scepters, frequently decorated with figures of couples or twins. Their king, called mwéné tafuna , lives in Zambia. A women's association, Kamanya , has dolls like those of the Tabwas.
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Bembe
This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga , Alunga , exercising social control over the clan , and responsible for public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. A helmet mask embodying the god Alunga , it has four ample concave orbits from which a pupil springs. Excrescences, on which feathers were fixed, evoke small ears or horns. Evoking a forest spirit, this mask was kept in sacred caves and was displayed during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor worship. Matt patina, discreet red ochre highlights.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that is said to have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, ...