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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.

Fertility figure Biga Mossi
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African art > African Dolls > Mossi doll

This schematic anthropomorphic figure, whose head appearance varies by region, represents a spirit with which a relationship is established. The tubular bust is endowed with sagging breasts, an attribute of fertility and evocation of motherhood. The angular, stylized head evokes the crest hairstyle of the young girls, the engraved motifs drawn on the wood the tegumentary ornaments. Smooth, sained skate.
The Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is composed of descendants of the invaders, horsemen from Ghana in the 15th century, named Nakomse , and Tengabibisi , descendants of the natives. Political power is in the hands of the Nakomsé, who assert their power through the statues, while priests and religious leaders come from the Tengabisi, who use masks during their ...


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Ligbi Mask
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African art > African mask > Ligbi Mask

Regular ovoid volume for this African Ligbi mask flanked by its reduced reproduction at the top. Horns return in a bow towards the center of the face on either side of a tripartite kaolin-like hairstyle like the end of the horns. Discreet highlights of blue and red pigments embellish the ensemble. Grainy, light brown speckled skate. missing on the upper horns. 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. ...


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Nigeria s early Idoma currency
African art > African Currencies > Idoma Currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a triangle extending into its lower part of a flat handle. Its surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The tip base, could be recorded in the ground.
Oxid red ochre granular patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, ...


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150.00

N tomo Bambara Mask
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African art > African mask > Masque Bamana

This African Bambara mask is topped with an antelope figure associated with agrarian rites. Parallel horns with even numbers indicating that it is a female mask also rise at the top. The oblong face, accentuated by fine scarified patterns, asserts itself thanks to an imposing buzzed nose dominating prominent lips. An oiled patina has a matte, velvety appearance on this piece.
Cassure under the chin.
We find the Bambara , Bamana , in central and southern Mali. This name means "inunbeliever" and was given to them by Muslims. They belong to the large group Mande , like the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they also believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes. One, every day of the 9 lunar months that lasts the gestation of a ...


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Primary couple Dogon in bronze
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African art > African bronze > Statues Dogon

These graceful filiform silhouettes evoke the primordial Nommos couple behind the creation of the Dogon of Mali. Recalling also the sculptures of the famous Giacometti, they sport a tense neck, supporting a chin raised horizontally, looking towards the horizon. These bronze statues are hammered with a succession of notches.
Copper brown patina. 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 ...

Masque League Idumu
African art > African mask > Masque League

Sculpted in the heart in the center of the ovoid volume of this African lega mask, the eyebrow arches join a small mouth that seems to emit a breath, calling for the secrecy of the initiates. A raffia beard extends the jaw. Glossy surface revealing the veining of the wood. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which were joined by wives whose spousehad reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Mask with beard: 40 cmWithin the Lega, the society of the 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 in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the ...


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125.00

Yoruba Altar Figure
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African art > African Statues > Yoruba Maternity

This figure of motherhood, symbolizing a mother of twins and the embodiment of an orisa, mother of the living, personifies the goddess of the Earth, guarantor of the abundance of resources, fertility and prosperous health. A ritual statue to be placed on an altar, it was revered by members of the powerful Ogboni Society, or Osugbo, in charge of justice. Different twin figures, in an amazing variety of postures, surround the main breastfeeding subject. The latter features a back covered with geometric patterns referring to traditional scarifications and tattoos, and a braided hairstyle in which complementary miniatures are placed.
Granuous polychrome patina.
Yoruba live in Nigeria, Benin and Togo. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu were born in the 15th century following the demise ...


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Lwalwa Nkaki Mask
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African art > African mask > Lwalwa Mask


pure symmetry for this African mask where a conical hairstyle incised with geometric patterns overcomes an imposing rectangular nose. The look, stretched, is made up of rectangular spaces highlighted by grooves. The chin ends in a point under a geometric mouth. The hollow of the ears is encased with red ochre pigments. Velvety light brown patina.
It is near the Kasai River that the Lwalwa live, between Angola and Zaire. Historically having a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa, after being influenced luba and songye, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization. The male mask nkaki, carved in wood mulela, is one of four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their sculptors: These craftsmen, according to their merits, ...


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Baulé Portrait Mask / Yaoure
African art > African mask > Baoulé Mask

Smeared with a locally scaled granular patina, this ndoma mask sculpted in dense wood stands out thanks to its high braided hairstyle arranged in shells and its collar adorned with polychrome diamonds. These portrait masks of the Baoulé, ndoma , which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the peculiarity of manifesting itself at the end of the ceremonies of entertainment dances. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc. Also called Gbagba , they personify graceful young girls or men whose valour or integrity qualities are reputed. The new generations are gradually ...


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240.00

Large Babanki Bamoun helmet mask
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African art > African mask > Bamoun Mask

Exceptional size for this tribal sculpture, worn horizontally, the volume of the large concave ears is fairly balanced by the rounding of the horns that join the trunk. The dancers of the Kuosi society to which the nobles and warriors belonged, mimicmed during the choreography the charge of the animal . The surface has a dark brown patina, smooth and velvety, eyes surrounded by white kaolin. The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Cameroonian Grasslands . Their neighbours are the Kom, Wum and Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with beads, called buffalo masks, and ...

Ancestor figure Kongo Yombe
African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Ex-collection Belgian African art.
This sculpture embodying a Kongo diginitary presents a face with wide and fixed eyes, this " which constitutes the prerogative of an elder. Indeed, only middle-aged people can stare at us with such insistence in order to alert us to problems or odds. The glazed gaze also refers to the psychic abilities reinforced by the presence of the quadruped, a support for divination, on which the character sits. Sculpture sometimes illustrating a proverb, it is accompanied here by symbolic zoomorphic figures or mythical animals emblematic of specific clans. Desisication cracks, locally abraded light brown patina.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo , led by King ntotela . Their ...


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380.00

Mossi Whistle
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African art > Usual african items > Mossi Whistle

This whistle carved with a female effigy was used for hunting. The statue represents a protective ancestor. Oiled patina brown brown.
The Mossi are a people from Burkina Faso as well as from the regions bordering the surrounding countries. More than five million people consider themselves Mossi, membership in this ethnic community being based on the practice of moré and the practice of a number of traditions. In the 15th and 16th centuries they formed great kingdoms, the two main kingdoms of which (Yatenga and Ouagadougou) remained independent until European penetration and were subjected only with difficulty by the French colonizers. Animists, the Mossi venerate a creative god named Wendé . Each individual would be endowed with a soul, sigha , linked to a totem icne. The Mossi ...


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Yaka ancestor figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Yaka

This figure of African art Yaka depicts a lineage leader sitting on a throne. These lineage charms, which provided protection against enemies, were carried out according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's sponsor. Animal figures overcoming human sculptures or Yaka masks refer to various folk tales, proverbs and hunting stories.
Lack at one of the armrests of the seat. A black patina satinée.br / 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 ...


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380.00

Senoufo loom
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African art > Usual african items > Senufo Pulley

In Ivory Coast, sculptures intended for everyday use, and apparently the most ordinary, had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of sculptors. These objects were not intended for ritual use, so the choice of subjects remained varied. This pulley is decorated with a female figure with mats pulled back around a central crest. The sagging chest is associated with motherhood, fertility. The long neck is adorned with parallel streaks.
Satin dark brown patina, ocuse residue. Wire remains on the reel.
Mainly farmers, the Senoufo group lives in a savannah region that covers southern Mali and Burkina Faso, and northern Côte d'Ivoire. They include about 50 sub-ethnic groups. They speak a Voltaic ...


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Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
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African art > African Textile > Textile Cuba

Collection of French African tribal art.
African art and the refinement of KubaProducts weaving in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real first art paintings, consist of a raffia textile base on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by contrasts of tone. The geometric patterns formed represent the bodily scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. They in many cases took value of money, or also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the technique of velvet weaving to the Kuba country in the 17th ...


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Benin leopard figure
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African art > African bronze > Bronze Benin

The leopard, depicting the royal power, has a central place in the culture of the benign kingdom because this animal appears in the founding myth of which King Ewuare is the hero. According to legend, he wakes up after spending a night next to a leopard and a snake without realizing it. As in other cosmogonies, animals are the manifestation or even the embodiment of supernatural forces. To be spared by these predators is therefore a sign of a divine blessing.
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 were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, heavy ...


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Statue Baule Asia usu
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African art > African Statues > Ancestor Baoulé

The Akan cults in African art
This figure "Waka -Sona", ", wood being in baoulé", is patinated by oil anointings. Many scarifications run through the anatomy of the effigy. Both hands rest in the umbilical region. This gesture of life evokes the link with the progeny, the protection of the ancestor. Dense wood, satin surface. Two types of Waka-Sona statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: those that evoke an assiè oussou, being of the earth, and which are part of a set of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the Komian soothsayers, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, blolo bian or feminine, the bia blolo . Some 60 ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-collection French African art.
The cult of ancestors, the bwete (Northern Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these figures have reached a degree of stylization and amazing abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and to the "Bras" topped by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male). The warhead face topped by a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of an edge instead of the nose. Thin strips of ...


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Gelede crest mask
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African art > African mask > Gelede Mask

The Gelede in African art.
In Nigeria, also in Benin, this African mask in the form of a janiform hem is accompanied by its costume in cotton cloth and colorful velvet. It is used for the rejoicing dances of the Gelede society, and on the occasion of the funeral of its followers. These masks occur in pairs, each with a specific name. A scene composed of musicians and acrobats rests on a round-bump, circular pattern, depicting a snake, and reptiles are carved on the walls of the hem. Desication cracks, strong erosion of the base of the part. Skate mate.
Gelede Country in Nigeria pays tribute to mothers, especially the oldest of them, whose powers would be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa , and ancestors, osi and who can be used for profit but also for the ...


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Mangbetu anthropomorphic slit drum
African art > Djembe TamTam > Mangbetu Drum

African court art Mangbetu and statues of ancestors
This traditional musical instrument features a hollowed-out soundbox topped with a head. The stick that accompanies it in a miniature shape. The geometric patterns on the object evoke the bodily paintings and tribal scarifications of the Mangbetu, similar to those of the Asua pygmies with whom the tribe had relations. The latter varied depending on the circumstances. The fan hairstyle was sported by the Mangbetu: from an early age, the children were compressed from the cranial box by means of raffia bonds. Later, the Mangbetu \


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240.00

Bronze Rider Sao
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African art > African Rider > Rider Sao

In African art, Sao Sokoto-inspired works are mostly imprinted with the equestrian world. Within the ethnic group, small copies of riders usually in bronze are melted and worn like talismans, patinated and lustrous by friction. They are seen above all as a remedy to fight possession by evil spirits. The horse represents the spirit of the person who is possessed, while the genius who possesses it is symbolized by the rider. Comes with a rectangular plexi support. More than an ethnic group, the Sao are a civilization that has now disappeared. They were found between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area stretching along the borders between Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. This bronze, inspired by the finest Sao achievements, has a copper patina. The warriors depicted on their mounts ...


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