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African art items:


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.

Chokwe Pwo mask
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African art > African mask > Chockwe mask

African art Chokwe and its great diversity of masks.
The patterns engraved on the forehead, and often on the cheekbones, are part of the aesthetic chokwe canons but also serve as public markers of ethnic identity. The reciprocal cruciform frontal motif would also have a cosmogonic meaning. This specimen is capped with a broad domed hull whose streaks represent braids, following the fashion of the time, lined with a thick wig of raffia that supports a wicker frame.
These masks were mainly worn during the initiation ceremonies of transition to adulthood, marking among other things the end of the privileged link between a son and his mother. The stylized tears sublimate the mixture of pride and sadness that resulted. They are today worn during pagan festivities and at political ...


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Lobi Statues
African art > African Statues > Lobi Statues

Rounded shapes for this African tribal statue of Lobi , comparable to that of a child, despite the presence of breasts. Summary features, in slight relief, and horizontal horseshoe ears. The feet, one of which has been damaged, and the hands remain just put on. This figure, which was to be placed on an altar, was clearly the object of libations, clear, grainy residues, forming a mottled patina mixed with kaolin and nestling down.
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped under the name " lobi ", make up one-fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. Few in Ghana, they have also settled in northern Côte d'Ivoire. It was at the end of the 18th century that the Lobi , from North Ghana, established themselves among the Thuna and Puguli indigenous, Dagara, Dian, Gan and ...


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450.00

Fang Ngontang Mask-Heaume
African art > African mask > Ngontang Mask

Evoking a defunct spirit, this hem mask has two sides, each of which is responsible for watching out for troublemakers, especially sorcerers. This type of mask often has four faces. The crest binding the faces is dug with holes allowing the adaptation of feathers, a raffia collar should be attached to the base. Alternating matte and satin areas. Erosions. Locally flaky kaolin patina.

Formerly known as Pahouins, the Fangs form a very large ethnic group established, following migrations, in Central Africa, in the three republics of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. Among their rites, the cult of the " bwiti " borrowed from the Tsogho , a mixture of ancestor worship and Christianity, dances, including that of the society ngontang using masks, the matrimonial regime of ...


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390.00

Janiform League Envelopes
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African art > African Statues > League Envelopes

Two faces with pierced, exorbitant pupils form around a central trunk for this tribal sculpture Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations. Relating to a Lega proverb, with two or more heads, this statuette would always illustrate the need for a global view of events, and therefore the prudence, wisdom and impartiality that should result from it. (Biebuyck 1973).
Grain patina, kaolin, light orange reflections.
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 these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed ...


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Baoulé Blolo bian Figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Baule

African art Baoulé.
Tool of communication with the spiritual world or blolo , this male figure, almost androgynous, represents the idealized spouse. She was subject to sacrificial offerings and libations. The greyed film skate is chipped. Desication cracks behind one ear. Two types of statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: The statues Waka-Sona, " be of wood " in baoulé, evoke a asssousou, be of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers the Komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues, made according to the soothsayer's instructions, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian or feminine, ...


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180.00

Couple of large leopards Benin Bini Edo
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African art > African bronze > Couple of large leopards Benin Bini Edo

Bronze in the African art of the Benin Kingdom
Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of kings, the Oba , was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes glorifying them were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, hairs and recades were produced in quantity in many workshops of smelters according to the technique of cast iron with lost wax. The killing of the king of animals associated with the legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the worship of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, he ...

Masque facial LIgbi
African art > African mask > Ligbi Mask

Ovoid shape framed with curved horns forward, for this heavy African mask of the Ligbi. Discreet highlights of blue and red pigments, and kaolin, form the linear patterns depicting the scarifications of the face, and those of the corners of the mouth, said in "moustaches of cat".Speckled brown patina.
Established in Ivory Coast, but also in Ghana, the Ligbi , Islamized, however, were influenced by the tribal sculpture Senoufo . They borrowed elements from it that they incorporated into African masks linked to the do society. This masked tradition has been preserved to manifest itself during religious holidays accompanied by sacrifices and songs such as the end of Ramadan, and symbolizing in this way the breaking of the fast. Just before the festivities, if necessary, the mask will ...


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280.00

Statuette Ngbaka, Bwaka
African art > African Statues > Statuette Ngbaka

The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities, such as a heart-shaped face, as in the Ogooué River region of Gabon. Some authors (Celenko 1983) have attributed this type of work to the Zande living north of the Ngbaka.The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live to the east and the Ngombe to the south. Tribal art' 'a href'U'0022http://www.ngbaka.ugent.be/beliefs"-ngbaka has given birth to a few statues depicting their mythical heroes Nabo and Seto that they worship and a very small number of masks. Zoomorphic figures were used for hunting. The heartside bears the grainy residues of white clay, and the eyes encrusted with cauris seem ajar. An incision is the mouth. The arms are plated in ...


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280.00

Chokwe Altar Figure
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African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe

This tribal sculpture glorifies the spiritual and physical power, qualities of the hunter, through the representation of the founding hero of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga, leader and mythical hero Chibinda Ilunga, founder of the Chokwé ethnic group. Easily recognisable thanks to its ample curved side winged headdress (cipenya-mutwe), made up of various materials, specifically a wicker frame covered with fabric, brass, leather, beads. The oversized chief had taught his people the art of hunting. The chiefs had a major function in the propitiation rites intended for the hunting and fertility of women, the objects being adorned with this figure having a protective function. Sitting naked on a pachyderm, the character recalls his privilege on the proceeds of hunting. Indeed, before ...


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Tête Ifé Oni
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African art > African bronze > Bronze head

In African art, the artistic current of which these sculptures belong is named after the ancient religious capital of Nigeria, Ifè, one of the many city-states established by the Yoruba.This civilization succeeded the Nok civilization. This city-state of Ilé-Ifé, whose growth culminated from the 12th to the 15th century, had an artistic tradition of realistic royal portraits, bronze and terracotta funerary effigies. The parallel folds drawn on the neck would evoke the folds of flesh of the prosperous notables, and the hollowed-out parts that accompany it were to be used to secure the king's beaded veil. The parallel lines of the face are traditional scarifications. The holes around the mouth likely symbolized a beard created by the insertion of hair or beads.
The bronze heads were ...


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Mossi Stool
African art > Usual african items > Mossi Stool

The seats are among the most popular African works of art, a common object, but also a symbol of the power of those who possess it, whether they are intended for everyday, exceptional or official use, the seats, for example. "incredible diversity of their form, attest to the existence of a plurality of styles and aesthetics. The most important element of African furniture is undoubtedly the seat, linked to the social rank of its owner. travelers of the seventeenth and eighteenth century indicate that when a chief moved, his seat followed him, carried by a servant. African objects L. Meyer Old tripod monodyled stool, with eroded and desiccated wood.


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125.00

Chokwe Mask / Lwena Pwo
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African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

This African Chokwe mask, equipped with its raffia woven hood, has finely sculpted realistic features. The hairstyle is reminiscent of the red earthen hair of the Chokwe women. The headband engraved with parallel lines assembled in diamonds would be a typical Angolan headdress. The treatment of details, focusing on ear pavilions, nose wings, lips and face volumes, testifies to the sculptor's mastery of his art. Red light brown patina, red ochre pigments on the headdress. 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 sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually ...


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Pende Mask
African art > African mask > Pende Mask

This small African initiation mask, Mbuya , depicts a woman soothsayer Nganga Ngombo, the lozenge bleached on the forehead and jaw testifying. This African mask that is not a face mask expresses the feminine and masculine qualities of the soothsayer.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the mbuyamasks , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters difficult to differentiate without their costume, including the chef fumu or ufumu, the soothsayer and his wife, the ...


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100.00

Great Luba Water Pipe
African art > Usual african items > Pipe Luba

The object here-versus uses a water pipe. Its sculpted handle takes the form of a medium female figure, with classic Luba features, sporting traditional body scarifications, sitting qualifourchon on the head of the piece. Her hairstyle, behind a large headband delimiting a shaved forehead, evokes those of luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. His gesture symbolizes the power of Luba women, holders of the secrets of royalty (the bizila) and non-uniform, satin-like, brown spiritual mediums.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means \


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390.00

Petit masque Markha, Warka
African art > African mask > Markha Mask

The small mask, on the other hand, was used by the association of the N'tomo grouping uncircumcised youth. Carved from dense wood, it is framed by elements depicting the braids on either side of a stylized crest. The nose, the central point of the face between the heavy lowered eyelids, is also the organ of sociability. Dark, oily skate, abraded locally on a light wood.
The Marka , Maraka en Bamana, or Warka , are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, established in southern Niger, north of the Bambara territory and have, therefore, been influenced by the latter especially in the design of their masks. In addition to the points of similarity between Markha and Bambara art, they also have in common institutions. They now speak bamana but have an initiation language, a means of ...


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180.00

Lega fetish statuette
African art > African Statues > League figurines

The African 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 bwami officers of 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.Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the ...


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180.00

Luluwa neck support
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African art > Head rest > Luluwa neck support

The flat, gently curved extension of the character's hairstyle forms the tray of our tribal neck support. The sculptor ingeniously counterbalanced this surprising asymmetry by endorsing the human figure, central, with oversized feet. Mahogany brown patina, polished, sained.
It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua , or Bena Lulua , from West Africa, have settled. 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 ...


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Eshu Yoruba Altar Statuette
African art > African Statues > Eshu figurines

The statuette has a headdress, more generally in a phallic form, allowing this object to be associated with the cult esu, eshu. Often depicted blowing in a flute, he relies here on a notched tablet.
the term Eshu refers to one of the spirits or orisha derived from Yoruba religious traditions. Its equivalent is Papa Legba, Elegba, Brazil and Haiti, and Elegua in Cuba following the deportations of slaves captured off the coasts of Benin and Nigeria.
Eshu is a deity related to communication but its role is broader. This orisha depends on the protection of the house, the city and, in general, all that is designed by Man.
By its attributes and virtues, Eshu was initially associated with the Devil by Western settlers. However, contrary to the Judeo-Christian and Greek ...


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190.00

Luba Cutting Carrier
African art > African Statues > Statue Luba

Voyante with a gourd or cut mboko , which was filled with kaolin, and which symbolized purity and the spiritual world. These containers were used by different Luba societies, more generally by the mediums of the divination society Kilumbu, Bilumbu, or by the healers of the society Buhabo .  The soothsayers Mbudye also used it. The eyelids of the characters embodying the spirits are invariably closed in a delicately shaped face, giving them a peaceful interiority.  The kneeling figure is depicted wearing a tiara separating the shaved forehead from oiled hair. These were collected in a structure built around a copper wire frame. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ancestors. Here the patina matte and velvety, abraded locally, some accidents. According to P. Nooter these ...


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240.00

Yohoure Mask of the "Je"
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African art > African mask > Yaoure Mask

A lively polychrome peeling embellishes this African mask sculpted by craftsmen of the Yohouré ethnic group. A zoomorphic figure (monkey?) throne at the top of this mask of the I. The tripartite hair, whose chisels represent the braids, is an indicator of wealth. The delicate pattern of the face with full cheeks, the polished surface with brilliant reflections, reveal the talent of the sculptors of African tribal art of Côte d'Ivoire.
The Yaouré are a subgroup of the Akan people present in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Geographically close to the Baoulé and the Gouros, one can feel in the art yaouré the influence of these ethnic groups through the attention to detail and aesthetics. The african art masks Yaouré, or Yauré , whose Baoulé have similar models, are divided into two groups ...


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Masquette Lukwakongo League
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African art > African mask > Masque League

Named Lukwagengo, these African masks in the shape of bleached faces, such as this reduced copy, are not face masks but are worn on the back of the head, on the forehead, hung on the shoulders, fixed on a bamboo stand or carried by hand during dances. These are the insignia of the penultimate rank of the Bwami initiates that surround a mother mask named idumu .
Total height on a base: 27 cm.
The wooden versions measure around 20 cm while the bone or even ivory versions are even smaller. 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 in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. ...


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