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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.

Couple primordial Luba
African art > African Statues > Statues Luba

br-Sceptres, statuettes of ancestors, objects of divination in the primitive art of the Luba
The Luba were mainly established in the Upemba valley and along the banks of the Lualaba.This couple of androgynous figures, with long arms and legs intertwined, face each other. A tiara with losangic motifs delimits a deliberately shaved forehead. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ancestors. Erosions. Dark skate. 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. This ...


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350.00

Couple of statuettes Ibedji Yoruba
African art > African Statues > Yoruba Twins

Here, the "abiku", which is protectively dented, is available in coloured necklaces and a chain made up of cauris that unites the doll statuettes "ere" (statues), evoking twins. Their hairstyle is made up of braids gathered in a conical bun. Hands are placed on the hips. Smooth, sainy surface, residual dark inlays.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. A man sometimes had ibeji for his wife to sculpt in order to arouse pregnancy. Supporting the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the ...


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350.00

Kuba/ Kété heaume mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Cuba

"The people of the lightning and African tribal art
Despite the presence of criteria reminiscent of the great Royal Mask Kuba, this African mask is equipped with horns that would identify it as a variant of ngulungu masks (antelope). He appeared at the end of the male initiation rites to celebrate the return of young people to the community. Polychrome linear patterns pierce under a blackish patina, the mask having been visibly repainted for a new ritual. An embroidered cauris stripe borders the base of the object. Mate patina, irregular surface. Lack on the end of a horn. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong which are still ruled today by a king. The most prolific group of West Kasai African art, the Kuba, or lightning people, living in the southern part ...


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Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
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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120.00

Bamoun Mgba-mgba induction necklace
African art > Jewels > Bronze Bamoun

The African art of the Bamoun, and the regalia associated with sovereignty. This ancient necklace of Bamoun dignitary, or Bamoum, is trimmed with 12 buffalo heads arranged on a metal strap with a clasp. This iconography symbolizes the values of combativeness and tenacity. When they sit, the members of Sultan Bamoun's court council wear this distinctive adornment of their function, the mbangba ,"mgba-mgba", which they say helps to strengthen their prestige and remove any evil power. Among the Bamoun, it is the fon, the head of the Kingdom or the chiefdom, who will offer this necklace to deserving men.
Total height on a base: 54 cm.

The Bamoun live in an area full of woodlands as well as savannahs. This large territory called Grassland in southwestern Cameroon is also home ...


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390.00

Fertility doll Akuaba Ashanti
objet vendu
African art > African Dolls > Statue Ghana

These people consider women to be the final arbiter of all decisions. Fertility and children are the most common themes mentioned in the wooden sculptures Ashanti. This ethnic group has built a relatively democratic society based on the moral value of the individual. The Antifounded a monarchy as early as the 17th century. The identities of the various ethnic groups Akan have been influenced by both Islam and Christianity.

Their dolls Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) are easily identifiable by their characteristic shape. They consist of a flat circular head, the majority of which is reserved for the forehead, the facies themselves occupying only the lower third of the head.
This last one is carried by a small cylindrical body whose arms develop at a right angle. The legs are ...


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Nsindi Songola Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Songola Mask

Extreme simplification for a powerful impact: this Songola mask composed of flat faces has an inverted triangle front whose edge extends from a slightly curved angle. The latter indicates a nose joining the oblique lying base, the hollowed-out center of which evokes a mouth or even a snout. Reduced to the essentials, the circular openings of the eyes are simply dug into this mask coated with a thick layer of kaolin. Mixed by alliance with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are swallowed by the elders of the bloodlions. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live hunting and fishing, they engage in sculpture although the objects associated with the cult of Bwami come from the Lega. ...


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Masque Kumu, Komo
African art > African mask > Masque Kumu

This mask where the spectacular play of full and void forms a balanced volume comes from the Ituri forest in northern Maniema. The amplitude of the nose and the ovoid shape of the upper part are enhanced by these geometric gapes expressing ancestral fears. Irregular satin surface.
Total height on adapted base: 52 cm.
The Kumu , Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the North-East and Central Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is komo or kikomo. Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, the Yela, the Lengola, and the Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed at the closing ceremonies of the initiation and circumcision of the young ...


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480.00

Horn player Benin
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > New product

In benign iconography, several types of horn players are denoted. It has a headdress, an oliphant and an embroidered tunic, many colirs. It is shown standing on a circular base with open outlines. Dark brown patina, grey-green inlays.

Many people thought they recognized in these figurines the ancestor of the dignitary of the court of Benin who, during royal processions, announced the arrival of the Oba and his entourage with the help of akohen or horn with side mouth, ivory cleverly carved.
This thesis is contradicted, however, by the leopard mask that these figurines sometimes wore on the left hip causing the tunic to be removed upwards, an attribute associated with military function.
In fact, between the end of the 15th and the beginning of the 17th century, ...


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Babalawo Yoruba Fetish
objet vendu
African art > African Rider > Babalawo Yoruba Fetish

The use of colored beads in African art.

This beaded statue represents a Babalawo (or Babalao, or Babaaláwo, pronounced Baba-a-láwo), priest of Ifa, in the Yoruba language. Ifa is a divination system that represents the teachings of Orisha Orunmila, orisha of Wisdom. The babalawo claim to make sure of the future through their communication with Orunmila. Orishas are the divine spirits that control natural forces. They are mainly found in the Yoruba cosmogony but more widely in West Africa is in the diasporas of Central and South America. The character is represented here on his mount and classically covered with fine polychrome pearls.


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Mamy Wata statue of Guinea
African art > African Statues > Statue Baga

Mermaid figures in African art


The cult of Mami Wata, a female genius associated with the sea, spread from Ghana and throughout West Africa. This type of sculpture, born in the 1930s, is called Yombofisa, Signal or Tiyambo in the Sitem. Yombofisa, according to David Berliner, is distinguished by a braided hairstyle adhering to the skull, and a mermaid body. Also known Yobo-fissa among the Baga Forè, it embodies the goddess of beauty and water, protecting fishermen and their villages. Known in the various groups Baga ("Tambaningo" among the Landuma), she also appears in masks during traditional and festive ceremonies. Glossy patina, golden brown with khaki highlights. Desication cracks and xylophageal damage. Missing object in one of the hands.
Mixed with Nalu and ...


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380.00

Senoufo Maternity Figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Senoufo

Senoufo African art and maternity wards
The Senoufo have produced a wide variety of African tribal art objects related to the Poro's initiation society: mask-heaumes, face masks, crests, peststatues, or statues depicting the mythical Mother Ka Tyéko.This female tribal statue features a symbolic gesture, sitting, a child with a breast. Scarifications in "moustaches of cat" are present at the cracks of the mouth, linear and parallel on the body. Her hairstyle evokes the mythical bird linked to cosmogony, evoked during the initiation of young people. Sculpture with a satin black patina.
Senoufo villages are made up of clusters of dwellings called katiolo . Each has its own association Poro whose members move up the initiation ladder throughout their lives. Members gather in a ...


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390.00

Guro Ram Mask, Guro
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

A naturalistic mask depicting a domestic animal dear to the people of Côte d'Ivoire, an allegory of tenacity, strength, and fertility, and sometimes also ceremonial offering to the gods. The head offers a graceful bulging to the snout with red pigmented nostrils. Crusty black patina, burgundy reflections.
Among the group of Mande from the south, in central Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized in bloodcuts, and constitute the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several characteristics of their creations. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the zaoulidance. Like the African Goli masks of the Baoulé, all Guro masks, related to the geniuses of nature, come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, ...


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Baga janiform crest mask
African art > African mask > Baga Mask

Baga religious practices and African art. 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 . 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 Baga use various crest masks in the image of young girls, the tiyambo evoking a young puberty and the yombifissa or "belle hair". The red color chosen for the skin is associated with idealized clear skin. The long hair gathered in braids refers to the hairstyle worn by Fulani women or limba. But this mask ...


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480.00

African Mask Bété / Dida
African art > African mask > Bete Mask

It is mainly in western Côte d'Ivoire that Bété use masks whose style has been influenced by the society of masks gla populations Wobé and Guéré, together called Wé or "men who easily forgive".This naturalistic mask, from the central-western region of Côte d'Ivoire on the border of the dida country, is carved from heavy wood. It has a high ovoid forehead, seat of wisdom and reflection, which a middle ridge highlighted by brass nails divides. The hairstyle separated in three is raised with kaolin. The protruding, half-closed palpebral slits are surrounded by parallel scarifications. The mouth is ajar. An outgrowth forming collar, lined with interlacing pearls and a raffia beard, borders the lower part. Abraded satin skate. Remains of white pigments. Height: 62 cm with raffia.
This ...


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380.00

Gabon s Lumbu Mask
African art > African mask > Okuyi Mask

This African mask is one of the stylistic variants of Gabon's white masks, itengi , (pl. bitengi) with a subtle-shaped face. In early art, this tribal mask from Gabon was associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti , Bwete , and the Mwiri ("le"), the latter spreading into several levels of initiation, to which all the Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the Caiman. The punu did not involve any masks in the rituals of the Bwiti, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the dance of the Okuyi, on stilts, remaining the most widespread. Within this group, the Lumbu, Loumbu, Balumbu, located on the coastal part of Gabon and in the ...


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380.00

Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu-Ngulu
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric patterns, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, ...

Bura funerary urn
African art > African Jar > Bura funerary urn

Remarkable, African Bura art includes three types of archaeological sites in the Niger Valley: sites with necropolises where coffin jars, funerary urns, etc ... Sites with ritual vocations where ceremonies were happening and the religious rites. The habitation sites where we find the usual objects. Herisse in his height of vertical lines composed of small circular reliefs, this conical receptacle was placed in the tomb of the deceased among personal effects like his weapons and clothing that he might need in the afterlife, among his bones and teeth. The piece has the same patterns placed horizontally around the perimeter of its lower base.


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230.00

Figure of Portuguese warrior Benin
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African art > African bronze > Bronze Benin

This statue of a Portuguese soldier, made according to the process of cast iron with lost wax, has a fire. Richly dressed, he wears a traditional tunic, a hip dagger, a helmet, and ankle bracelets.
The Portuguese arrived in 15th century Benin, endowed with a military arsenal that aroused great interest among kings. The power of firearms was then naturally associated with the occult defense against invisible enemies. In the 16th century, Europeans played a major role at the Oba court: they imported corals and glass beads, shackles also highly coveted by the king and his courtiers.
At the same time, their soldiers participated in Benin's military campaigns, notably against the kingdom of Idah. The character's firewall thus attests to the presence of cannons, an unavoidable and ...

Female mask mmwo Igbo
African art > African mask > Igbo Mask

The African art Igbo and the white masks, the embodiment of female spirits
This tribal mask of the Igbo Agbogo Mmwo takes up the traditional conventions glorifying youth and beauty, illustrated by traditional characteristics: horizontal incisions of the eyes, a treaded nose, an emaciated face smeared with white, colorful scarifications and ornaments in checkered or ornaments. The white color of the mask is associated with ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means " spirit of the dead". The mask wearer was wearing a colorful textile suit and a postiche chest.
A white, red and black polychrome enhances this African mask. Patina chipped.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They managed to ...


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390.00

Small mask Hemba Ibombo ya soho
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Hemba Mask

The Hemba are a subgroup of the Luba ethnic group living in southeastern Dr. Congo, east of the Lualaba River. They are best known for their statuary representing chiefs. 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 embodied in the mask. The asymmetrical, split eyes are separated from a ribbed nasal appendage in a central extension of the eyebrow arch. A large slit ...





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