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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.

Senoufo Poniugo, Wanyugo  mask
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African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

Representations of hybrid beings, the zoomorphic African masks of Senufo are worn by members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honor the elders or to appear at funerals. Multiple zoomorphic elements are associated, crocodile mouth, antelope, warthog and ram horns. At the top are two stylized chameleons, emblematic animals that preceded the creation of human beings and symbols of knowledge, positioned on either side of a cup destined for magical substances. Living in a reserved neighbourhood, the sculptor senufo , whose training spanned seven years, began with the making of everyday objects, and then, little by little, carried sculptures of increasing size. Initiatory rituals complemented his learning. Grainy heterogeneous ...

Masque Kuba Mulwalwa Binji
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African art > African mask > Masque Cuba

African arts at "the lightning people".
The mask Mulwalwa is used in male initiation rites in the southern Kuba region and embodies a spirit of nature, a ngesh controlling fertility and fertility in the eyes of the Kuba. A similar copy is listed at the Museum of Ethnology in Berlin. A protruding forehead housing exorbitant, conical pupils forms the specificity of this tribal mask. The latter evoke those of a chameleon and the power of the ngesh . An opening is the mouth, and the whole is crowned with a volume associated with a container of palm wine upside down. A symbol of inebriation, he warns of the potential danger of approaching it. Punctures were made around the edges of the room to attach the raffia adornment. Different geometric patterns, painted in contrasting tones, have ...


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Maternity figure Asye usu Baule
African art > African Statues > Statue Baoulé

For baoules, seeing a woman's genitals can be fatal for a man. The depiction of a female figure, naked, not veiled with a cloth loincloth, poses a threat. She is probably the embodiment of a female goddess. Represented sitting, breastfeeding an infant, the figure shows the traditional keloid scars and a hairstyle whose chiseled braids on the wood form a large shell. Dark brown speckled patina, flaky.
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 komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of ...


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320.00

Cup carrier Luba Shankadi
African art > African Statues > Statue Luba

This female figure with a tiered hairstyle has a mboko" , calabash that was filled with kaolin, symbolizing 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 faces of these characters embodying the guardian spirits show a peaceful interiority. According to P.Nooter these figures also represented the soothsayer's wife, which underlines its importance in the divination process bilumbu . According to some Luba, however, although a woman, she would represent the first soothsayer Luba, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful society of the Mbudye associated with royal power. ...


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180.00

Bozo polychrome face mask
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African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

Ex-French African art collection.
The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the niger's inner delta and remain semi-nomadic today, moving their homes as seasonal floods continue. Mande-speaking people, they speak sorogama. Within their group, we can distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie. They revere a water genius named Faro.In addition to their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of various size and frequently articulated, exhibited at the Puppet Theatre Sogow Bo which is organized on the initiative village youth, mainly in the Ségou region, which plays an educational role. Multicolored geometric patterns and graphic symbols are painted on this zoomorphic mask, likely in relation to ...


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Couple of celestial spouses Baule
African art > African Statues > Statues Baoulé

Property of the soothsayer komienfoué, sometimes intervening in the divinatory practices of the Mbra, this couple evoking assou, or "geniuses of nature", related to fertility, is depicted sitting in seats of the Type Akan. Hairstyles whose braids are gathered backwards, checkerboard scarifications dotted on the body, fine adornments of beads, are part of the features of the baoulé statuary. Heterogeneous dark patina chipped. Two types of statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: the statues Waka-Sona , " being 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 Komian soothsayers, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. ...

Fertility statuette Kongo /Dondo
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African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Fertility Rites in African Art
The strategic points of this mediating African statuette are located in the abdomen highlighted by circular scarifications and an oversized head, wearing a cap with geometric patterns. The temples are marked with checkered keloids by which, according to some african tribes, cosmic energies would be absorbed. These symbols refer to human scarifications. The patina of use, two-tone, adopted satin reflections. Presence of dessication cracks. The Vili, The Lri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Dondo/Kamba, the Yombé and the Kongo formed the Kongo group, led by King ntotela . Their kingdom reached its apogee in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade. With similar beliefs and traditions, they have produced a statuary with a ...

Rider Sao Sokot Putchu Guinadji
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African art > African Rider > Bronze 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 square 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 ...

Ngil Fang Mask
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African art > African mask > Fang Mask

This African Fang mask illustrates one of the many stylistic variations of Ngil's Fang masks, distinguished by a stretched volume in the concave center, in which high orbital cavities contain thin cracks for the eyes. The solemnity here is the pout mouth placed in the end of the chin. Parallel grooves, highlighting the forehead and lower part of the face, are associated with traditional ethnic scarificiations. Tubular, horizontal growths represent the braided shells of the hairstyles. Time has left its mark on this mask, reinforcing its powerful appearance. Irregular patina, abrasion areas.
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 men's society ngil ...


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Figure de pouvoir Nkondo Nkisi
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African art > African Statues > 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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Dogon Walu Mask
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African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

This first mask of the Dogon celebrates the antelope hippotrague. Indeed, the presence of horns curved backwards recalls the walu, an animal linked to the dogon cosmogon. High rectangular depressions, pierced with triangular cavities for vision, have been built. Raw wood is coloured with natural pigments. Surface matte, chipped and rough. Marcel Griaule counted no less than 78 types of dogon masks during his field investigations. This piece, with stylized features, is characteristic of dogon creations. The latter, influenced by their predecessors in the Bandiagara region, the Tellem, have retained this verticality in their rooms. Parallel to Islam, dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, wagem, cult of ancestors under the authority of ...


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Baule Ndoma Mask
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African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

Ex-collection French tribal art.
This African mask of the Baoulé offers a regular face with discreet traditional scarifications. Its abstract crest evokes baoulé combs in ivory. Tiny ears, which form with the diamond engraved necklace one of the stylistic conventions of the mask-portraits, are noteworthy. Dark brown shiny patina and kaolin highlights.
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 themselves 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 is distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of ...


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Ghana s Akua ba Ashanti doll
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African art > African Statues > Statue Ashanti

Used by the Ashanti and Fantis of Ghana, Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identifiable by their stylized appearance. Their flat, circular head has a high front occupying the upper part, the lines usually appear in the lower third of the head. A beauty brand, the ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity. Worn behind the backs of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rituals, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the arrangement of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture serves as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in order to witness its effectiveness. This doll, however, has a morphology with full forms emphasizing the chest, buttocks and umbilical ...

Mossi crest mask
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

African art at the Mossi.
It is in the northern centre of the Mossi country that this type of convex African masks, with a prominent central ridge, are carved. Despite openings for the eyes, these masks were worn at the top of the head, accompanied by a fiber suit. This mask depicts Balinga, the beautiful woman linked to Mossi mythology. Geometric patterns imbued with kaolin are dug on the matte and grainy surface. The eyes are surrounded by seeds of abrus, some of which are missing.
Stylistic similarities are sometimes noted with the zoomorphic masks of the dogon, a neighbouring people. Mossi masks, personal or lignagers, are an embodiment of tutelary spirits offering their support. They perform at funerals, at the funerals of clan leaders, protect the crops. Genuine altars ...


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350.00

Dogon statues of the primordial couple
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African art > African Statues > Statues Dogon

Figures such as those below, personifying ancestors or nommo the origin of creation in the Dogon, were intended to appear on family altars. They received libations that were supposed to divert wounds and plagues, increase harvests and increase fertility. Represented sitting on a stool in the front position, their slender arms bent like legs, the characters have a similar head, with a flared beard and a thin crenellated crest. The busts and shoulders are engraved with meticulous geometric patterns associated with traditional scarifications, and the streaked arms indicate the wearing of bracelets. Altered wood, ravine. Dry, grainy surface, libation-encrusted residues.
Sculpted mostly to order by a family and in this case arranged on the family altar Pull Kabou , the Dogon tribal ...

Fang ancestor statue of Byeri
African art > African Statues > Statue Fang

Ex-collection French African art. This anthropomorphic sculpture of a young woman is distinguished by the quality of the model, by its patina evoking a black skin on which copper adornments form a brilliant contrast. Among the characteristics of the Ntumu style of the regions between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, the pout is inscribed in the prognathic jaw. The bust has been fitted with a circular cavity to introduce magical elements or relics of the deceased.
Beautiful abraded patina. Local restorations using brass staples. Desication cracks.
At the Fangofe of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were ...


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490.00

Mali s Bobo Rider
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African art > African Rider > Statue Bobo

A rider missing an arm, displaying a tubular face-museau crowned with a sagittal crest, a characteristic hairstyle of the Mali Bobo, rides an equine with simple shapes. The naïve nature of animal sculpture evokes a docile companion. The legs disappear into a rectangular base. The figure's body, covered with scales, refers to the masks of ethnic leaves. Eroded part, desication cracks. Matte and velvety clear skate.
Divided between Burkina and Mali, the Bobo make leaf masks that embody the clan's founding ancestors. Their culture is similar to that of the bamana and minianka of Mali. Their creator god is Wuro, Dwo being the privileged interlocutor of men, assisted by spirits "secondary", such as the Wiyaxe, anthropomorphic geniuses whose altars sometimes received sculptures, and the ...


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Masque facial Markha
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African art > African mask > Masque Warka

According to S. Diakonoff, this African mask is used in the N'tomo association of uncircumcised young people. It is often topped with horns symbolizing "the degree of the nature of knowledge. "The forehead is extended to the height of a crest hairstyle flanked by tiered side mats. A long rectangular nose dominates a narrow mouth to the open lips. Brass leaves engraved with the repulsed, characteristic of Marka sculptures, cover part of the mask. Oxyand and speckled skates.br-The Marka, Maraka en Bamana, or Warka , are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, established in southern Niger. They now speak bamana and have adopted much of the Bambara traditions, such as Ntomo and Koré , initiation societies that used masks during their ceremonies. The sculptors of African art Bambara and Marka ...


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Bozo fish mask
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African art > African mask > Bozo Puppet

Bozo polychrome works in The African Art of Mali.
This ancient zoomorphic puppet mask honors, for the Bozo, faro the genius of water. Rounded, naïve shapes, this Bozo puppet mask is available in matte polychromy, with articulated fins held by a rubber tongue.  The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the niger's inner delta and remain semi-nomadic today, moving their homes as seasonal floods occur. Mande-speaking people, they speak sorogama.  Within their group, we can distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie.In addition to their remarkable traditional masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the puppet theatre Sogow bo which organizes ...


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Sakalava Statue
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African art > African Statues > Sakalava Figure

African art Malagasy.
The tropical island of Madagascar is located off the coast of Mozambique. Its first inhabitants are said to have made up Polynesians who have taken refuge on the eastern coast of Africa, but have been repelled by Arab-Muslim traders. Several kingdoms developed there as early as 1500, including Sakalava on the west coast of the island. The most famous plastic achievements of the Malagasy are a statuary linked to funeral rites. While the Mahafaly statues were an integral part of pillars aloalo, the fragments of panels above the heads testifying, the figures of ancestors Sakalava, in a round-bump, frequently represent the deceased and his companion of the opposite sex. The north-east of the tomb, sacred position associated with the aurora, the resurrection, the ...


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Bamileke s ceremonial tab
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African art > African Chair > Table Bamileke

In African art, the Bamiléké demonstrate their know-how through the use of multicolored beads.
This cult seat, monoxyle, consists of a circular base and seat supported by figures leaning on top of one another. The interior is hollowed out.
A basic structure is carved into wood and then covered, above a rabane canvas, with an imported bead lattice whose colours correspond to the different chiefdoms.

Located in the border region of Nigeria, the northwestern province of Cameroon, The Grassland is made up of several ethnic groups: Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke. Several centralized chiefdoms, or kingdoms, based on customary associations, secret societies, are organized around the Fon which has broad powers. Among The Bamilékés of Sudano-Bantous ...


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