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The achievements of African tribal art fascinated many European artists and collectors in the 20th century. From André Breton to Picasso, all were seized with a buying fever that quickly spread in the middle. If these sculptures are more of an artistic dimension for Westerners, it is nevertheless through their ritual sacralisation that they reveal themselves for the African peoples. Their ceremonial role confers on them a unique power that distinguishes them from other forms of ethnic art. These works were acquired (sold or offered by natives) throughout the twentieth century by ethnologists on mission or colonial cooperatives to be exhibited in museums, or integrated into prestigious private collections. This is the story of these pieces that we propose to discover through our gallery and our website.

Dan Gunyeya amulet mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

Miniature of the racing mask with round hollowed-out eyes, known as "gunyeya" or "gunye ge" which are used for racing events during the dry season. As for the zapkei ge Height on base: 19 cm.
It is following dreams in which the spirits would manifest themselves that the masks were sculpted according to precise indications in order to be honored through their appearances. The Dan also carve, always according to the indications of the diviner, miniature masks on the model of the large masks. They are worn as amulets by children. The Dan masks, of varied workmanship, are generally performed during very ...


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Yombe Nkisi fetish statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yombe statue

The tribal fetishes of the Kongo kingdom have a magical charge generally lodged on the abdomen behind a mirror closing a cavity. The character with realistic features is depicted in a determined frontal posture, hands on the hips. The eyes with pinhead pupils are inlaid with glass in reference to the visionary and divinatory abilities. Satin yellow patina. Damaged base. Abrasions.
The nganga , sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through this type of figures, most often consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi .
The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rites, ...


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480.00

Figure de pouvoir Nkondo Nkisi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo Fetish

Fetishes of power in African art Kongo
Among the Kongo, the nganga se charged rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkisi (pl. minkisi). The term nkisi ft then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most influential category of U.S.minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to help regional leaders enforce the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, each nail evoking a particular case: litigants, divorce, conflicts between communities...
The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement to settle the conflict was properly implemented, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behaviour. His appearance thus personified the resident strength.

Juché on a discoid base, a figure with a bleached ...


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Statue congo Vili Nkisi Nkondi
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Fetish Nkondi

Ex-Collection Swiss African Art.

Posture of challenge for this fetish dedicated by the nganga, which is endowed with a magical ventral charge (bilongo) for therapeutic purposes. The Vili produced a variety of sculptures of individual use nkisi, to which multiple virtues were attributed. The glazed eyes symbolize the foresight dan sun face with naturalistic features. The Vili, Lâri, Sûndi, Woyo, Bembé, Bwende, Yombé and Kôngo formed the group Kôngo , led by King ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade. Similarly, beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their worldview. Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili broke away from the Kongo Kingdom in the 16th century and the ...


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Vodou Fon Benin Fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Vodou Fetish

Strong" objects of the voodoo cult within African art Emerging from a heterogeneous heap of ropes, chains and wooden sticks, this sculpture, of which only the head would appear, remains for the Vodou of Benin an active force, capable of protecting or healing. Ritual crusty coating mixed with indigo pigments.
This botchio (from bo : "evil spell" in Fon, and tchio , "corpse") erected at the top of a pole was set up at the entrance to the village or a house in order to ward off any threat, physical or spiritual. Some of them had minimalist forms, barely sketched around a central trunk. The multitude of fon gods (the vodun), similar to those of the Yoruba under different names, are represented by fetishes of all shapes and nature. Their shrines are found in Togo, ...


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105.00

Chokwe, Luvale maternity statue
African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Chokwe statue

A statue associated with the Hamba type of therapeutic cult, this Chokwe or Lwena sculpture embodies a female ancestor believed to guarantee fertility or healing. These figures were arranged around the muyombo altar, a tree at the base of which sacrifices and offerings were once performed. Related ethnic groups had this same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths and important transactions were concluded.
The figure would also depict the second wife of the mythical chief Chibinda Ilunga
Smooth mahogany gilt plate. Localized cracks at the base. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. The Chokwe did not have a ...


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380.00

Zande, Azande mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Zande mask

Among the great stylistic variety of Zande sculptures, this mask takes up the features of some of their ancestor statues often appearing in pairs. The eyes pierced under a continuous, protruding arch of the eyebrows, the rounded cheeks and the metal rings are among the distinctive features of their faces. Grainy satin patina. Height on base: 43 cm. Formerly known as "Niam-Niam" because they were considered to be anthropophagous, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande, Azandé, settled from Chad on the border of the DRC (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms into the animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs upon his death. The African tribal art of the Zande, or "those who own a lot ...


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380.00

Akuaba Ashnati doll statue
African art > African Dolls > Ashnati doll

Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identifiable by their structure. Their circular head has a high forehead occupying the upper part, the features are generally drawn in the lower third of the face. The tubular bust whose arms develop at right angles is carried by a circular base. Two-tone matt patina.
This people consider the woman as the final arbiter of all decisions. Fertility and children are the most frequent themes evoked in Ashanti wood sculptures. This ethnic group built a relatively democratic society based on the moral value of the individual. The Ashanti founded a monarchy in the 17th century. The identities of the various Akan ethnic groups have been influenced by both Islam and ...


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240.00

Deangle Dan Dance Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Dan

Ex-Belgian African art collection. These African masks of a very pure aesthetic whose concave face projects the features, are always borrowed from a great serenity. This is one of the characteristics of Dan masks.Arched palpebral slits allow the dancer's vision. Flesh yen-green diamond lips protrude. A black patina, particularly satin, has areas thinned by use, honey color. Rhythms punctuated by regular perforations to fix the raffia adornment in front concealed the wearer. The so-called Mask, called Deanglé, defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is carved in honour of the village's young girls or renowned men.


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Bronze Dogon Rider
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African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Statue Dogon

Image of the rider in The African Art Dogon
This rider figure would represent a Dogon warrior with his spear. The stylized horse is pitched up and has stretched legs. The sculpture is provided with many details, executed meticulously, such as engraved decorative motifs. Ex. collection of the painter 'a href'"http://wiki.ibb.town/Karl-Heinz-Engstfeld"- Karl Heinz Engstfeld and 'a href-U'0022https://evibb.de/home/wir-trauern-um-ruth-engstfeld-schremper/"-Ruth Schgst , a gandher artist. The frequent representations of a rider, among the Dogon of Mali, refer to their cosmogony and their complex religious myths. Indeed, 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. Moreover, the highest ...


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Horseman Dogon in bronze
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African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bronze Dogon

The frequent representations of the rider, among the Dogon of Mali, refer to their cosmogony and their complex religious myths. Indeed, 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. Moreover, 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, while whining in reference to the mythical ancestor Nommo. The Dakar-Djibouti mission of 1931, led by Marcel Griaule, was tasked with studying in depth the rites of this population established in the Groupiagara Cliffs region, southwest of ...


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Female figure Nyamézi
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Nyamézi Statue

This female figure sculpted in a very dense wood and with a thin silhouette offers a head in which hollowed eyes were usually encrusted with white beads. The size of the ears contrasts with a discreet appearance. This type of statues, among the wide variety of tribal production of this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional Seeker activities. Dark matte, oiled skate. Lacks at the ends of the breast and feet, cracks.
The Nyamwezi are made up of tribes of various origins that make up the largest group in central Tanzania, but share the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their territory Unyamwézi . They were therefore brought to travel from Congo (R.D.C.) coastal towns in ...


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280.00

Male effigy Nyamézi, Nyamwezi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Nyamézi

Ex- african art collection form Luxemburg.
This human figure of long morphology offers a proportionally reduced head, in which hollowed-out eyes were generally encrusted with white beads. The size of the ears contrasts with a discreet appearance where the jaw forms a slight bulge. This type of statues, among the wide variety of tribal production of this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional Seeker activities. Smooth and sainy patina revealing the veining of the wood, range of hot browns. Lacks, cracks.
The nyamwézi are made up of tribes of various origins that make up the most guarded group in central Tanzania, yet share the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their ...

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

Characteristic of traditional Lega masks, this work carved in a flat volume, with the facial features outcropping, indicated the stage its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu.
. Light patina, crusty residue of kaolin. Cracks.
Height on base: 46 cm.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society 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 seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, they live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, ...


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100.00

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

Statuette-fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) featuring a busty, masked figure. Glossy black patina. Slightly missing, desiccation cracks.

These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The larger examples are collectively owned by 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 manner. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features that are often used during secret ...


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125.00

Lega/Zimba bust
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega bust

African art among the Lega
. Among the many others used throughout the initiations, this African sculpture featuring a head carried on a conical neck belonged to an initiate of the Bwami.

Light velvety patina.
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 undergo costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu ,at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took place over seven ...


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125.00

Luba Shankadi neck support
African art > Head rest > Luba headrest

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

The Shankadis belong to the luba group, and have the same associations and structures. Their mostly realistic statuary is characterized by spectacular hairstyles, a smooth surface, and smaller lower limbs. The "cascade" hairstyle illustrates one of the different braided compositions fashionable in Zaire in the 1800s, highlighting the social status of the wearer. The female effigy symbolizes the Luba royalty and the major role of women within it. Neck rests were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. Locally abraded dark brown oiled patina.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the ...


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150.00

Headrest Luba Shankadi
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African art > Head rest > Luba headrest

Ex-collection German African art.

The Luba are renowned for their refined statuary and famous in particular for their neck rests and stools made of a caryatid figure. The seated figures, interlaced, one of them leaning on the knees of the second, symbolize Luba royalty. The neck rests protecting the headdresses during the night were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. The figures embody the spirit of an ancestor, vidiye and have a cascading hairstyle in the Shankadi style. Warm brown patina, residual ochre inlays. The Luba (Baluba in tchiluba) are a people from Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, hence the name (Baluba, which means "the Lubas"). ...


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Lega figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League figurines

The tribal art of lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest rank of bwami from different communities. This type of statuette of tribal art 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 initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were inited. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their effectiveness.


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120.00

Yaka Kholuka Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yaka Kholuka Mask

Yaka Kholuka mask of circumcision and initiation of young boys, marking the end of the period of confinement.
These masks represent the various degrees of the insider hierarchy, and as the personal imagination can be expressed freely, they are very varied.
The set has retained its polychromy well.
The representation of the upturned nose is quite characteristic of the Yaka ethnic group. The headdress is topped with a cloth reptile.

The Yaka society is extremely hierarchical and authoritarian. The leader of lineage has the right to life and death on his subjects. As is often the case, the artistic current of the ethnic group has been influenced by neighbouring populations. For the Yaka, the influence comes mainly from the Suku and Kongo ethnic groups. Yaka's ...


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Ngombe Knife
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Ngombe Knife

In northwestern Zaire, south of the Ubangi River,live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe of Bantu language. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various banda groups. They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, among them health and prosperity. Their throwing knives used for hunting were used as currency. This sickle knife, comparable to those of the Mangbetu, has a handle sheathed in copper wire and a blade with a reddish oxidized patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins; transactions were made using cowries, beads, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive currencies were used for commercial and social exchanges, particularly for dowries, but they could also be used as parade objects or throwing ...


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150.00





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