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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.

Yaka talisman necklace
African art > Jewels > Yaka necklace

This necklace of dried seeds, tubular beads, and a talisman from which two carefully carved heads appear, is a lineage charm that protects against enemies. It was carried out according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the sponsor of the object. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that comes with it are an opportunity today for the Yaka to summon ancestors and resort to rituals with the help of charms. The initiation society of young people is the n-khanda , which is found in the Eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc...),and which uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. Ethnic artistic productions have been ...


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180.00

Masquette Fang
African art > African mask > Fang Mask

Gabon's Rituals of Justice and African masks. Sunk under a prominent forehead the pupils of this mask print an inflexible character to the face. The prognathic jaw on which the thin mouth is inscribed also gives a determined character. The summit ridge recalls one of the many hairstyles of the Fang.Patine two-tone people, kaolin residue.

The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. This type of mask was used by the male society ngil in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.  This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. The wearers of these masks, always in large ...


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180.00

Baga Nimba Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baga Mask

Baga religious practices and African art
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , the baga live along the coast slitting the coast of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku , which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup . Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they have created a powerful mask, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest. The face of the Baga Nimba mask, is characterized by a buzzed nose evoking a bird's beak, an incised hair divided by a crest.national symbol, can reach up to 50 kg in its most voluminous versions. Real name Demba / D'mba (or Nimba in baga language), it represents the nurturing ...


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Luba neck support
African art > Head rest > Tabouret Luba

The Luba are renowned for their statuary and in particular their neck-rests and stools made up of a cariatid figure. The symbolic figures adorning this neck support to preserve the complex headdress of its owner refer to the Luba royalty. But the neck supports were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. The characters leaning on their hands, with a sophisticated hairstyle, and embodying spirits, are represented in a face to face with arms and outstretched legs. Medium brown matted patina. The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River, hence the name (Baluba, which means \


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340.00

Bobo Nyanga Mask
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African art > African mask > Bobo Mask

Mandingo people, most of whom live in eastern Burkina Faso, but also in southern Mali, the culture of Bobo Fing is similar to that of Bambara . They are organized in led by elders' councils. In each village altars are erected under the authority of the blacksmiths, priests of the cult of Dwo, but the Bobo also worship secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make fibre-leaf masks that they will wear at ceremonies to establish a relationship with the spiritual world. The most important wooden masks are the sacred altar masks (molo and nwenke), the masks that accompany them ( nyanga) and those of entertainment ( Bole , sing. bolo). Before the rainy season, in order to restore the balance of nature, the masked dancers embodying the ...


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Female figure Ewe Venovi
African art > African Statues > Ewe Doll

A figure of the missing twin, this naked female statuette features a clear honey patina encrusted with white clay residue. The wood is cracked. The sculpture is atoped with very thin pearl necklaces, forming a sex cache at the pubis. One can note the patternofing of the large ears and the graceful assemblage of the braids.


The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the largest ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria. Although little historical information is available about them, it seems that their location in their present location is the result of invasions and conflicts that erupted during the 17th century. The Ewe consider the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. They must be treated ...


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240.00

Luba ceremonial axe
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Luba axe

Weapons of dignitaries in African art
Hache des Luba central, associated with the prestige of the leader, and whose blade is finely incised with parallel lines.
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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Songye janiform fetish statuette
African art > African Statues > Songye Fetish

These Songye fetishes sculpted back-to-back in the wood present the invariable features of the magical statues produced by the ethnic group: frontal position, legs spread semi-flexed, arms bent against a bust whose abdomen forms a protrude. The faces take the form of the kifwebe masks linked to the company Bwadi ka bifwebe. The figures were probably stripped of ritual accessories of origin horns, beads, bags of various amalgams, metallic elements. The ravinewood reinforces the unusual aspect of the object.
The fetish Songye , magical sculpture Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large copies are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the 16th century, the Songyes ...


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290.00

Vanuatu Fetish Statue
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African art > African Statues > Vanuatu Fetish

Named in 1774 by Captain Cook's New Hebrides, these islands in the southern Pacific Ocean have become Vanuatu since its independence in 1980.These anthropomorphic sculptures correspond to the rank, within the chiefdom, of the one who achieved. The works are elaborated on the place of size, out of the female eyes, and can reach beyond 2 m.An anthropomorphic form with a globular-eyed face, engulfed in the straight bust on which the arms of the character come to rest.


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Medical jar
objet vendu
African art > African Jar > medical jar

French African art collection.
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku , which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup , represented by a large cage covered with raffia whose top is a bird's head. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they created a powerful mask, a hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, in order to communicate with the spirits of the forest, and which they wore obliquely on the head. A red, orange and yellow polychromy, contrasting with the dark patina, remains noticeable. Kaolin brush residue. Surface matte, dry and flaked. This piece comes from an African art collector who wishes to ...


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Dan Zapkei Dan Zapkei s " Race Mask
African art > African mask > Masque Dan

For the Dan, or Yacuba, living in western Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, the "d-" force that would animate the world would manifest itself in sculpted masks. This is how she seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to support him, and uses the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to see made. These masks of different types are endowed with functions, social, spiritual and political, often evolving over time. Masks equipped with round orbits (gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of all the masks of the northern Dan and are used for racing events during the dry season. The zapkei ge , also equipped with circular orbits, are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are accessorized with hats, braids, textile ...


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150.00

Luba Cutting Carrier
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African art > African Statues > Statue Luba

This cult statuette, sculpted in the style of BuliU's "master, embodies a clairvoyant wearing 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 invaribally closed in a delicately shaped face, giving them a peaceful interiority.  The kneeling figure wears a tiara separating the shaved forehead from the oiled hair. These were collected in a structure built around a copper wire frame. Scarifications cover his back. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ...


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Luba Figure
African art > African Statues > Luba statue

In the Luba, the female representations are characterized by the permanence of a morphology with stretched limbs, such as this sculpture of woman sitting with legs and arms outstretched, going about one of many daily occupations, such as kneading a vegetable paste. Lacking the classic scarifications, however, it is depicted wearing, among the infinite variety of tyles of luba hairstyles, of hair coated with palm oil, topped in a building of layered bulges, like the hair adornments of the Luba Waholoholo, (Holoholo) subgroup, of the Lake Tanganyika region.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River, hence the name (Baluba, which means \


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160.00

 Dogon door
African art > Door shutter > Dogon Gate

The systems of closure of the Sahelian regions in African art

This door Dogon equipped with its lock, carefully carved and rich in details, evokes by its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations the Cosmogon Dogon. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. Each of the characters at the top of the panel wears a kanaga mask, worn by the Dogon at the mourning ceremonies. Different scenes, in connection with daily life, also adorn this door. On the lock is symbolized the house of the owner. It is not a decorative element that does not carry any particular meaning, while allegorical in African culture. The set consists of two vertical panels fixed horizontally by planks at its upper and lower end. ...


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650.00

Double statue Chamba
African art > African Statues > Couple Chamba

This double Chamba figure has a red ochre crusty patina, locally chipped. Best known for their buffalo masks, the Chamba communicated with the spirit world through these statues. However, their functions remain little known. This sculpture offers great similarities to the piece sculpted by Soompa before 1940 at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond (U.S.A)and which appears on page 73 of the book "Arts of the BenueU Valley,0022 published by the Museum of Quai Branly. According to the authors, these statues were used during rituals in Mapeo in Nigeria and Yéli in Cameroon.The central block joining the two characters has a large frontal crack. Part of one of the oversized feet on which the sculpture rests is missing.
Installed since the 17th century on the southern shore of the ...


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350.00

Masquette Hemba Sukumutu
African art > African mask > Hemba Mask

Mastering the sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of ancestors singiti , embodying leaders, local warriors, or lineage ancestors that they venerate in order to appease mizimus spirits. A wide variety of ritual objects, fetishes, simian masks, gourds, and others of daily use have made their reputation. The pieces called soko mutu , suku muntu , (from Swahili," man's brother", and KiHemba, ibombo ya soho : "face de singe") belonged to the cult of ancestors and existed in two forms: on the one hand large masks used in ritual dances, and on the other hand, small masks or statuettes used as gifts, were hung in the boxes as protective amulets. These masks have recently been renamed mwisi gwa so'o , which expresses a concept that it is a chimpanzee spirit that would be ...


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180.00

Masque Chokwe Pwo
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

The African art Chokwe and its wide diversity of masks
The characteristic motifs present on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are among the aesthetic canons chokwe but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. The recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic meaning. This copy is capped with a large hull worn forward, following the fashion of the time. These masks were mainly worn during the initiation ceremonies of passage to the adult state, marking among other things the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. The stylized tears sublimate the resulting mixture of pride and sadness. They are now worn at pagan festivities and at political or social gatherings. Smooth, sained skate. The masks Chokwe Pwo are exclusively female ...


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Statuette Iginga Sakimatwematwe
African art > African Statues > League Statues

African lega art and initiation materials.
African tribal sculpture Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations, its structure is in the form of a central trunk around which janiform losangic faces overlap. 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 to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations ...


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240.00

Gabon Punu Mask
African art > African mask > Punu Mask

Harmony of shapes for Gabonese masks in a contemporary composition.
Face with delicate features embossed on the forehead and temples, the nine-scale patterns associated with traditional scarifications; a thick trim, composed successively of twisted raffia, coiled necklaces and rows of cauris, brings a colorful note. The double-hulled hairstyle, surmounted on this mask with a vegetable fibre handle and extended with a basket helmet, is a variation of the different hairstyles worn during the 19th century in Gabon. A grainy patina, chipped, covers the face. White, the colour of mourning, establishes a link with the world of spirits and ancestors to whom protective and beneficial virtues were attributed. The counterpart of okuyi masks are the black patina ikwara masks, the color of ...


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225.00

Female figure Dogon
African art > African Statues > Statue Dogon

Sculpted mostly to order by a family and in this case arranged on the family altar Pull Kabou , the Dogon tribal statues can also be the object of worship on the part of the whole community when they commemorate, for example, the foundation of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on altars of ancestors and participate in various rituals including those of periods of seeds and harvests. However, their functions remain little known. Parallel to Islam, dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon, the Wagem, cult of ancestors under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the spirit world and led by the priest of Binou, and the society of ...


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380.00

Yohoure Kokole Dja Kwain Mask
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African art > African mask > Yaouré Mask

Surmounted by an open panel and four tubular elements evoking the masculine, this African yohouré mask is enhanced with copper slats and tapestry nails. White pigments contrast with the dark patina. As is often the case with yohours, a frieze of triangular motifs underlines the elegant patterned face. 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 , are divided into two groups that are difficult to differentiate, the I , sometimes with the addition of coloured pigments, and the lo , usually with dark patina, which intervene during funeral ceremonies or ...





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