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African art items:


We offer you a large selection of unique pieces of African art. Coming from private collections or purchased directly “in situ”, these works are the subject of a special study to determine their provenance as well as their conditions of acquisition. We make it a point of honor to offer our customers quality works of African art, old or contemporary, acquired within the framework of an ethical market. It is the history of these pieces that we invite you to discover through our gallery and websites.

Makonde mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Makonde mask

This African mask Makonde would embody an ancestral spirit. The ancestors would return masked in order to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. The modeling of the face in which the features pierce gives a particular naturalism to this mask which reveals an old yellow patina covering a first flesh-colored coating. In view of the perforations on the sides, accessories (hair, textiles, etc.) had to adorn the head. Abrasions, chips and cracks. br> Height on base: 30 cm.
The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Besides the face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that ...


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380.00

Sukuma Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Sukuma Mask

Belgian African art collection.
African mask appearing in Tanzania during the dance ceremonies of the dry season. Geometric lines accentuated by linear scarifications. Reddish matte patina, erosions. Height with base: 39 cm.
The Luo, Kuria, Haya and Ziba, the Kéréwé, Karagwé, Sukuma and Nyamézi are established in the central western and central region of Tanzania. Along the shores of Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa, and Lake Nyassa, the Ha, Jiji, Bendé, Tongwé, Holoholo, Fipa, Manbwé, Kondé, Kisi and Ngoni produced figurative statues, terracotta sculptures and inset masks of teeth.


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340.00

Nyamwezi Statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Nyamwezi Statue

With a slender morphology, hands clasped in front of the abdomen, this female figure whose only ornament consists of a torque around the neck, offers a face with a sharp profile, framed by large ears. Dense wood coated with a black patina.
Drying cracks.
The Nyamwezi, Nyamézi, form the largest group among the tribes living in north-central Tanzania. Coming from diverse origins, although sharing the same cultural specificities, their ritual and artistic production consequently presents very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, has left its mark on their statuary.
The Sukuma and Nyamézi produced statues represented in a static position, some of which, with filiform limbs, evoke the artistic creations of ...


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480.00

Bwa Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bwa Mask

Embellished with decorative motifs, this flat and circular African mask offers a discreet polychromy. Crusty patina. Abrasions, minor chips.
The African art sculptures of Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from men, animals or even insects. These are the spirits of nature that are believed to determine an individual's well-being and prosperity. It is therefore during different celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature or that of an ancestor, to honor the deceased during funeral rites, and to escort souls to the afterlife. They also perform during agricultural festivals with the aim of ensuring the progression of the seasons, and during initiation rites they will introduce young people to ...


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350.00

Baoule Statuette
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule Statuette

Sculpted according to the indications of the diviner after consultation, embodying a type of "ideal spouse", this female figure offers most of the criteria which distinguish traditional Baoulé sculpture relating to "spouses of the beyond" (African Art Western Eyes, Baule ", Vogel, p.253 to 257).
Chip, small abrasions.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual context: The Waka-Sona statues, “being of wood” in Baoulé, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statue intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien diviners, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian or female, the ...


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120.00

Wé Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wé Mask

Singular, this “mask of bravery” hides his face under his joined fingers. The helmeted front is highlighted with upholstery nails, some of which are missing. Satin black patina, colored highlights.
The Dan, in the north, and the Wé of the south (Krou group including the Guéré, the Wobé of the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), made use of frequent loans due to their proximity. The elements of the bush, protruding volumes of the forehead, horns and fangs, zoomorphic jaw in certain cases evoking the gaping mouth of an animal creature, are associated with human features marking the duality of the divine. Before the 1960s, masks, whose creation was inspired by visits from spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dancing, singing, hunting. ...


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280.00

Lega Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega Mask

African mask used among the Lega during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. The latter is open to men and women.
The passage of a grade indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality.
Irregular patina locally chipped.
Height on base: 43 cm.
Within the Léga, the society of Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these individuals live in autonomous villages surrounded by palisades, generally on hilltops. The role of leader, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ...


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180.00

Chokwe Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chokwe Mask

Always worn by higher-ranking initiates, this African mask embodying a female ancestor displays the fine features of the Pwo and a cleverly elaborate raffia hairstyle, extending into a cotton hood. Matte brown patina.
Height on base: 35 cm.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subject to the Lunda empire. African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the Pwo woman and appear today during festive ceremonies. Joined to their male counterparts, chihongo recognizable by their large tray-shaped headdress, the pwo are supposed to bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic patterns present on the forehead, ...


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170.00

Tschokwe mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask

Always worn by initiates of higher rank, this type of African mask embodying a female ancestor was often embellished with buttons and accessories of European origin. Raffia braids adorn the hairstyle and the face offering the classic traditional features and marks of the Pwo. Satin black patina.
Height on base: 43 cm.

Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the woman Pwo and appear nowadays during festive ceremonies. Joined to their male counterparts, chihongo ...


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170.00

Songye Fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

The abdominal cavity of this African sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) is devoid of magical charge bishimba. For the Songye, the power of the fetish was reinforced thanks to various accessories, metal, gimmicks, etc... Slightly satiny brown patina. Minor desiccation cracks.

These protection fetishes intended for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large examples are the collective property of an entire village, the smaller ones belong to an individual or a family. 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 way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through ...


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140.00

Nkishi Fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Nkishi Fetish

The result of cooperation between the nganga, the sculptor and the client, this African statuette songye was loaded with bishimba elements and accessories intended to reinforce its action. Brown patina, cracks and losses.
The fetish Songye, protective 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, 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 history is inseparable from that of the Luba, to whom they are related through common ancestors.


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140.00

Ligbi Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ligbi Mask

African masks and Muslim influence.
An enigmatic face with scarred eyelids wears curved horns related to the siginkuru-ayna buffalo mask. The sacrificial ox is in fact associated with the image of the “former Muslim” Horingyo.
Established in Ivory Coast, but also in Ghana, the Ligbi, Islamized, nevertheless suffered the influence of Senoufo tribal sculpture, since they charged Senoufo or of the Mandé to carve their masks. The Djimini, for their part, are Sénoufo living in the Dabakala region. This is the reason why their masks linked to the society of do whose dances were generally supervised by the Ligbi are imbued with these reciprocal influences. This masked tradition, shared by the Djimini, has been preserved to manifest itself during the religious festivals of ...


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380.00

Yombe Maternity
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yombe Maternity

Referring to the mythical African ancestor associated with fertility cults, this female statuette offers a scarified bust. These cuts, made using needles, knives and razors, were then coated with charcoal or ashes to accelerate healing and form protruding patterns. The Yombe also decorated their textiles, mats and loincloths, with diamonds in relation to proverbs glorifying work and social unity. The infant would embody the matrilineal transmission of power.
Satin light brown patina. Cracks.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads between present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon.
A clan of the Kongo group, the Yombe are established on the west African coast, in the southwest of the Republic of Congo and in Angola. ...


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150.00

Sao Bronze
African art > Bronze rider, wooden rider, dogon, yoruba > Sao Bronze

In African art, works inspired by Sao Sokoto are mainly influenced by the equestrian world.
Within the ethnic group, small examples of horsemen, generally made of bronze, are melted and worn as talismans, patinated and lustrous by friction. They are considered above all as a remedy to fight against possession by evil spirits. The horse represents the spirit of the person who is possessed, while the genius who possesses him is symbolized by the rider.
Subjected to successive attacks from their neighbors in Kanem then to hordes from the East, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in the North-West of Cameroon where they interbred with the natives thus giving birth to the Kotoko. More than an ethnic group, the Sao are a civilization that has now disappeared. They were ...


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70.00

Luba mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luba mask

Reduced mask, semi-spherical, which has similarities to the Songye masks. However, it did not perform the same function. This category of rather rare African masks are called "bifwebe". They appeared at funerals and investitures.
They performed during the ritual ceremonies of the kazanzi society, responsible for the fight against witchcraft. "Bifwebe" (Sing.: Kifwebe) would also mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "to chase death". Worn with a voluminous raffia ruff that concealed the dancer, this mask was generally danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. Among 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. Matte patina.


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160.00

Sundi mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Sundi mask

Ex-collection African art from Belgium.
The African masks naturalistic of the Kongo clans.

According to sources, these masks would belong to diviners or were worn during funeral rites.
Great simplicity for this naturalist specimen surmounted by a triangular outgrowth. Abraded velvety patina. The Vili , the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the Kôngo group, headed by the king ntotela . Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory and copper trade and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture related to their worldview. In addition to their weapons and prestige objects and their funerary sculpture, the Sundi used, ...


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280.00

Kouyou statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kouyou statue

African figure associated with the mythical ancestor Oso of the Kouyou, a neighboring group of the Punu in the Republic of Congo. The face and body bear numerous scarified designs, and the mouth reveals sharp teeth.
Polychrome matte patina. Erosions and cracks from desiccation. In the past, the Kouyou were divided into two totemic clans: in the west that of the panther, and in the east that of the snake. A secret male association, Ottoté, played an important political role in the appointment of chiefs. The initiation of young men ended with the revelation of the serpent god Ebongo represented in the form of a head. The Kibe-kibe or Kebekebe dances, which accompanied the ceremony, reactivated the successive stages of creation. The panther clan had a drum as its emblem. For ...


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290.00

Mbole currency
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Mbole currency

The blade of the sword, weapon of prestige then currency of transaction, carries in its center of weak traces of hammered reasons. The contours are irregular, the patina oxidized rusty orange.
In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made by means of cowrie shells, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive currencies were used for commercial and social exchanges, particularly for dowries, but could also be used as parade objects or throwing weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued in relation to iron bars called barriferri. The king usually controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metal forms is wide, and they sometimes take the form of ...


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180.00

Lwena figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lwena figure

This Chokwe or Lwena statuette, associated with the Hamba type therapeutic cult, embodies a female ancestor. These figures were arranged around the muyombo altar, a tree at the foot of which sacrifices and offerings were once made. Sculptures made in sticks or poles (Mbunji or mbanji) planted in the ground were also associated with it. The related ethnic groups had this same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths and important transactions were concluded.
Beautiful abraded dark brown patina, desication cracks. Of Lunda origin, the Lwena emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, repulsed by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for ...


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280.00

Lwena statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lwena statue

Carved from dense wood, this protective female figure is said to be associated with the mythical ancestor and to intervene in human fertility, land fertility, and successful hunts. The face forms a miniature replica of the powerful mukishi wa pwo nyi cijingo ca tangwa mask topped with the kambu ja tota. ("Chokwe and Their Bantu Neighbours" Rodrigues de Areia.) br> Brown satin patina. Abrasions, cracks.
br>Originally Lunda, the Lwena , Luena, emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed out by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their sculptures embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks related to the ...


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280.00

Chamba mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chamba mask

The Nam Gbalang or Lang Badna mask is a powerful symbol associated with the Vara cult dedicated to a protective genius.

It appears during the Kaa festival rites of passage and at high-grade funerals.
It is likened to the buffalo; it represents the wild spirit of the bush with all its powers and its dangerousness.
According to some, this mask represents a queen whose chamba line claims descent from the forest buffalo.
The rounded dome of the mask symbolically represents the idea of ​​death as it depicts a skull, a relic taken from the tomb of an elder.

The other characteristics are related to the wild world of nature, thus the mouth symbolizes the jaws of the crocodile, while the horns are those of the forest buffalo.
The Nam ...


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380.00





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