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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.

Chokwe snuffbox scepter
African art > Commander stick > Sceptre Tchokwe

The Royal Chokwe Badges and African Art.
Intended to exalt the qualities of the chef, a mark of ostentation, the handle of the scepter presented is topped by a round-bump sculpture featuring Chibinda Ilunga in a sitting position, hunter and mythical hero, founder of the Chokwé ethnic group. Easily recognizable by his ample headdress with curved side wings ( cipenya-mutwe ), he 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 thus, presumably, a protective function. At the top, a pot-shaped element is intended for tobacco, the use of which was widespread among the Chokwe, with smoke serving as an offering to spirits ajimu . Black brown satin ...


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250.00

Luluwa Mask
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African art > African mask > Luluwa Mask

It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua, or Bena Lulua, from West Africa, 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 autodafés, the religious system continued, such as the fertility cult tshibola. The face with the characteristic protruding eyes of the Luluwa is accompanied by the warrior's headdress and a sculpted beard divided into five mats. Curvilinear and checkered patterns alternate on the shiny black ...


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Great Mask Songye Kifwebe
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African art > African mask > Songye Mask

This mask with an imprecative function, streaked with bleached grooves, and whose naso-frontal ridge continues in high frontal ridge, would be masculine. The different areas of these masks (including the beard, the costume and the body of the wearer) attach a particular symbolism: the mouth for example would embody the beak of a bird and the fire of the sorcerer.
Natural matte patina of white clay, red and black ochre. br-
Three types of African art mask "Kifwebe" (or songye mask) are listed: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would have a more modest crest or absent, and finally the largest embodying power (nd). The Songye sculptor had a high status within the society bwadi and also produced various objects of pageantry, but also of daily ...


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Ancestor statuette Teke- Yansi Butti
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African art > African Statues > Teké statue

This statue of Teké-Yansi ancestor, in sacred dance position nibiki, half-flexed legs, has a globular abdomen in which relics or a magical charge ( butti) have been introduced.  Accessories such as chick feathers, vegetable twigs, ossicles and teeth are attached to the wicker strap highlighting the volume of the bust.  Traditional scarifications, in parallel grooves (mabina) are present on the cheeks.
As a powerful character, warrior, nganga, hunter emeritus, or family ancestor, this tribal statue was honored as part of the family cult.
Clay plasters, kaolin residue. Oiled patina.
Established between the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Tekine were organized as chiefdoms, the leader of which was often chosen among the blacksmiths. The ...

Statuette Mangbetu
African art > African Statues > Statue Mangbetu

The fan hairstyle of this female figure was sported by the Mangbetu: from an early age, the children were compressed from the cranial box by means of raffia bonds. Later, the hair was \


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390.00

Large Mask Baoulé ram
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

Imposing tribal animal sculpture whose long carved horns, twisted, symbolize aggressiveness and destructive power. Sacrificial victim for offerings and metaphor of pugnacity, the baoulé mask-bomber is an allegory of strength. This mask appeared in the company of human masks during various ceremonies, including funerals or today during visits by distinguished guests.
Dense wood, satin patina, mahogany brown, black and white. Desication cracks.
According to the mythology baoulé , a royal ancestor had to sacrifice his son to cross a river. This event is the origin of the name of the Baoulé , Bauli ,"The son died". They make up the majority of Côte d'Ivoire's population. In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, ...


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380.00

Yoruba Altar Figure
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African art > African Statues > Statue Yoruba

Focused on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). This altar allowing communication with the afterlife depicts as a maternal figure one of the many female goddesses, the goddess of the earth Onié ("owner of the House"), guarantor of longevity, peace, and resources , and linked to the powerful Ogboni company in Yoruba Egba and Ijebu. It could also symbolize Orunmila , goddess of divination. With one hand she holds a scepter, a mirror linked to the Ifa divination, leaning on a miniature subject, in the other she supports a figure of cutting carrier linked to the Ifa divination, symbolically installed at the top of her head. The Yoruba visualize the world as a sphere in two parts, the superior associated with the ...


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Senoufo Setien hema mask
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African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

From a spherical mask, dug with holes for the eyes, stands a stylized effigy of a mythical bird frequently identified as the calao, or Setien , one of the five animals of the Senoufo cosmogony. Its long, tapered beak, interpreted as the figuration of the male sexual organ" that perpetuates the life of the community, elegantly returns to touch the bulging chest symbolizing motherhood. The paws hug the dome of the mask.
Desication cracks restored in situ using metal staples, an old matte, velvety dark patina, locally abraded on a light wood.
The Senoufo , a name given to them by French settlers, are mostly composed of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. ...


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Nkanu Drummer Statue
African art > African Statues > Nkanu figure

This drum sculpture is from the Nkanu of R.D.C. They live on agriculture along the Lufimi River. Their villages are grouped in groups of four or five under the authority of a local chief leading the heads of families. Drum players also appear on carved wooden panels displayed during initiation rites. The sound of the drum, among the Kongo and Yaka, covered the groans of circumcision, drove out malevolent spirits, and encouraged future initiates. A similar piece was donated by François Edouard Cabra in 1903 to the Royal Museum of Central Africa in Tervuren.

Large orbits surround the pupils of the character whose face recalls The Yaka statuary. The face, covered with white clay and reddish pigments, is characteristic of the Nkanu. The feet of the musician represented on the drum ...


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350.00

Mossi Bwa Mask
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African art > African mask > Bwa Mask

Plane and circular, this African mask is engraved with losangic motifs arranged in successive circular friezes. It is painted with a matte polychromy, burgundy red, white kaolin and dark grey. The mouth in which teeth are represented is hollowed out to allow the dancer's vision. It would symbolize a totem bird of different Mossi clans.
The African art sculptures of Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. It is the spirits of nature that are supposed to determine the well-being and prosperity of an individual, and adversity will be seen as the result of neglect scars of collective rites. It is therefore during various celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature ...


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Chihongo Chokwe Mask
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African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

This mask pendant Pwo , always worn by dancers of royal descent, is also used during the initiation rites of the society mukanda . From the sculpted bandeau in relief, engraved with parallel lines, rises a feathered headdress that a necklace of glass beads delimits. A hood woven from vegetable fibres is attached to it, having to conceal the neck of the wearer. Large eyeballs recall the inverted volumes of the mouth and discoid chin. The sacred mask Chihongo (chihongo also a plant with therapeutic properties), with a large grimacing mouth, is used in circumcision rites and royal ceremonies. The characteristic patterns on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity, such as the chingelyengelye ...


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Luéna Mask, Lwena
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African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

Of Lunda origin, the Lwena emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, repelled by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia and near the Zambezi in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their honey-coloured sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks related to the initiation rites of the mukanda . This mask is engraved with circular patterns associated with ethnic scarifications. These details differentiate him from Tschokwe productions despite the relative similarity of their masks.
Speckled burgundy red and black. Erosions of wood concentrated on the headdress and at the top. Old break under the chin.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola ...


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Statue Dogon Tintam
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Dogon Maternity

Figure of ancestor hermaphrodite , depicted naked, illustrating one of the daily tasks of this people of the cliffs. At the neck, a necklace korte composed of amulets incorporating verses from the Koran testifies to the Muslim influence in the region.
This piece features matte, splendored and furrowed wood. Lack under the cup.
The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger Loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). Villages are often perched atop the scree at the edge of the hills, according to a unique architecture. The history of migration and the facilities of the ...


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Mask Mumuye Va, Vabou
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African art > African mask > Mumuye Mask

Zoomorphic Mumuye masks in African art
The statuary emanating from the northwestern region of the benue middle, from Kona Jukun, to the Mumuye and up to the Wurkun populations stands out for a relative lack of ornamentation and a clean stylization. The 100,000 Adamawa speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola, divided into two groups: those of fire ( tjokwa ) relating to blood and red color, guardians of the cult vabong , among which s elected the chiefs, and those of water, ( tjozoza ), related to humidity and white color. It is among these that the priests of the rain are chosen, initiated from the worship vadosong . To be used by the two Mumuye groups, the different colors of the same object of worship, mask or statue, are applied by each member of ...


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Statuette Chokwe
African art > African Statues > Calebasse Tchokwe

Objects of pageantry in African art.
Designed to exalt the qualities of the chef, a mark of ostentation, this gourd with its conveyor belt has a handle sculpted in round-bump in the effigy of the legendary leader and hero Chibinda Ilunga, founder of the Chokwé ethnic group. Easily recognizable thanks to his ample headdress with curved side wings (cipenya-mutwe), he 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 thus, presumably, a protective function. The mastery of the sculptor chokwe proves once again remarkable in the modeling of the musculature and the attention to detail brought to the head. A section of reptile skin separating the ...


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250.00

Yoruba dignitary seat
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African art > African Chair > Throne Yoruba

Prestige of furniture, seats and stools in African art
This sitting featuring cariatid figures and bird sculptures associated with divination ifa has a recurring iconography in the statuary of the Yoruba people. Indeed, centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko), often read by the only initiates of secret societies. Six caryatids support the seat of their raised arms, four support the armrests, while human figures are depicted leaning on the rear studs of the seat. A polychromy distinguishes this piece of tribal art, the red pigments symbolizing blood and fire, here associated with green. Glossy dark brown patina, kaolin pigments, indigenous restorations (metal staples on the tray and arms)


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Fetish Luba / Hemba Kakuji Kabedja
African art > African fetish > Statuette Luba

The anthropomorphic figure of joined busts topped by four faces devoid of features is the powerful fetishes kabeja, also used in the Luba, and in the Kasongo living in contact with the Luba, Hemba and Songye populations, who call them kakuji. The top of the room is pierced with cavities in which a bijimba , a charge composed of magical elements from the natural, human and plant environment, were implanted. The figure has arms folded in front of the bust like the ancestor statues and offers, alternately applied, thick residual inlays of colored clays mixed with palm oil. Each of the clans had a kabeji sculpture for protection and healing. But this type of fetish could also be reserved for individual use.
The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern Dr. ...


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290.00

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 two groups of three 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 ...


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250.00

Statuette Ibeji  Yoruba
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African art > African Statues > Yoruba doll

Ibeji statuettes, incarnation of the missing child in African art Yoruba.
Large globular almond eyes, deep scarifications on the face, braids gushing out into conical buns generally illustrate the aesthetic traditions of African Yoruba art. Solidly camped on a flat stand, this feminine effigy, depicted nude, features pearl necklaces and brass buckles encrusted in the wood. Brilliant chocolate skate, traces of indigo on the headdress.
In the language of the people Yoruba , ibeji means twin: ibi for and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who has to take care of them; it can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. ...


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Couple of statues Baoulé Asiè Usu
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African art > African Statues > Baoule figures

The "geniuses of nature" in African art
Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual setting: The statues Waka-Sona , " being wood " in baoulé, evoke a assou soussou , be earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien soothsayers, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. When it comes to the representation of a couple, despite their characteristics comparable to the baoulé statues of mystical spouses, the effigies of baoulé couple still belong to the category of asiè usu or geniuss of nature . The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian or feminine, the blolo bia . The masculine effigy has a braided beard that the ...

Seated female figure Akye, Attica
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African art > African Statues > Statue Attié

Sculpted and ornate
according to aesthetic criteria allowing to capture " the spirit to which the medium or healer addresses, this effigy with an ovoid face, the curved morphology of the statues Nkpasopi , is adorned with numerous necklaces of brightly coloured beads. This type of statues were evaluated on the basis of the effectiveness of the rituals depicting them. Its beige grey patina is the result of the multiple washes and anointings to which these objects were subjected, inlating deeper into the wood furrows the white pigments of the kaolin. The lagoon populations of eastern Côte d'Ivoire include mainly Attié, Akyé, Ebrié and Abouré. Their sculptures offer many similarities. These kingdoms had the first commercial establishments offering gold, ivory, slaves and pepper to the ...





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