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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.

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

The African art and refinement of the weaving KubaProducts 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 century. He had previously introduced the ...


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Large Royal Altar Head Benin
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African art > African bronze > Large Royal Altar Head Benin

Ex private English collection of African art.

Altar heads are famous pieces in benign art. Like the other bronzes, they were cast using the lost wax technique. These pieces are very loaded with details and patterns. This royal head with realistic features has facial scarifications and many finely detailed ornaments. A recurring feature, the warhead headdress is imposing and beautifully decorated.

The art of Benin is described as a court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as oba. The tradition of Ifè's bronze classroom objects dates back to the 14th century.

The many bronze heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on ...

Bocio Fon Fetish
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African art > African fetish > Bocio Fon Fetish

Ex Belgian art collection.

This is a fetish of a character presenting a small ritual cut. It retains a fabric link with it's mouth, at the end of which a mass is attached, magical load encrusted with animal hair, probably primates and warthogs. A thick crusty patina covers the whole, many libations having been made. The Fon are currently in a part of the Republic of Benin called the Kingdom of Dahomay. The legend says that a princess of Yoruba origin created this kingdom before the seventeenth century. Their culture and stylistic characteristics are related to those of neighboring ethnic groups all located in a lagoon region in eastern Côte d'Ivoire. These ethnic groups have the same social structure: a society headed by a leader where the age of men determines their social ...


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Ewe fetish statuette
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African art > African Statues > Statue Ewe

In Togo, fetishes are part of beneficial or evil rituals according to the intentions of their owner. Fetishists make them to order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer more conventional ready-to-use versions.
These practices are still in use today are sometimes decried and considered animistic and overgone in the age of Christianization and Islamization. Nevertheless, people tend to maintain animist practices despite their conversion to the great monotheistic religions, both beliefs influencing each other.

The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the most important 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 ...


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Masque facial Lomane Yohouré
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African art > African mask > Yaouré Mask

Ex-French African art collection.
Birds, totemic animals illustrated by a group of four, rise in a stage at the top of this African mask of the I. Finely worked hair, divided into three, is an indicator of wealth. The delicate shape of the face, the smooth and sainy patina, reveal the talent of the sculptors of African tribal art of Côte d'Ivoire. This copy named Anoman , Lomane , (baoulé bird) is part of the fourth of the seven masks I who originally danced around the deceased and leaned to touch him for a purifying purpose. It also appears at present during rejoicing. 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 ...


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Royal ancestor figure Bangwa
African art > African Statues > Statue Bangwa

The rich production of African art among the people of Cameroonian Grassland is distinguished mainly by the statuary on wood: commemorative sculptures of kings, queens, princesses and crowned servants, as well as relatives of twins.
In the large Bamileke people in western Cameroon, the Bangwa constitute a small kingdom. The influence of Bamileke on the statuary bangwa is notable for relatively comparable facial features and morphology. Typical of the country bamileke , the statues bangwa often represent fertility but also power and combativeness. They are often positioned on either side of the induction chairs at notable meetings.
Dark crusty patina. White kaolin tops.


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490.00

Punu helmet mask
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African art > African mask > Punu Mask

Refining Gabon's white masks in a contemporary version.
This African mask has a look made of coffee bean eyelids, the protruding mouth is well drawn, on the forehead is a pattern associated with traditional tribal scarifications in nine scales; a thick trim, composed of cauris and colorful pearl necklaces that are adolla on the face. These hairstyles in various forms illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. A basket helmet extends the summit shell with a handle. A two-coloured patina 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 witchcraft, referring to the occult ...


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Fang Chicken
African art > Usual african items > Etrier Fang

This cephalomorphic pulley illustrates the diversity of the decorative arts of the Fang: the head offers the features of the statues above the reliquary baskets. The concave face, set with a brass nail, ends in a pout. Oiled patina, glossy, with grainy residues. In the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a statue or a head that acted as custodian of the "byi" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the company "So". During the holidays, the statues ...


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125.00

Masque facial Kwele Ekuk
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African art > African mask > Kwele Mask

The African mask of the Kwele, framed by enveloping horns, is presented here in bichrome. The dark brown patina, almost laced, is highlighted by the white pigments of the kaolin.
Small erosions and shards of wood.
These masks of Gabon with a concave face, in the heart, have almond eyes and a triangular nose. Generally concealed, the mouth is here in the form of a notch giving a smiling appearance. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are called pipibudze, Ekuku zokou, etc. and are associated with the ancestors or spirits of the forest, " ekuk ".Tribu of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live on hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult called Bwété borrowed ...


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Bozo fish puppet mask
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African art > African mask > Bozo fish

Bozo Polychromy of African Art Sculptures in Mali
Aquatic Inspiration for Africian Art Sculptures Bozo
Black, Yellow, and Polychrome Pastillage for this ancient African zoomorphic mask honoring Faro, water genius. Abrasions of use. The fin joint is held by rubber strips. 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.Besides their remarkable masks, the Bozo and the Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the theater of puppets Sogow bo which is ...


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Juju Bamileke feathered headdress
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African art > Headdress Hat > Juju Hat

Bamileke tribal art.
The Sumptuous Bamileke headdresses in traditional African art. Multicolored specimen for this dazzling African adornment of prestige, worn by the notables. It was on the occasion of the elephant dance, tso, that the members of the Kuosi society, Kwosi, wore these impressive headdresses. They were worn over a multicolored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng, a fabric fabric, ndop, adorned with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances took place during festive ceremonies and funerals. Hats were once made from parrot feathers, now wild guinea fowl, the rarity of which was high cost. The feathers are attached to fabric-covered wooden strips, placed around a circular frame bound by a basket of wicker fibres. A society ...

Bwami Lega Headdress
African art > Headdress Hat > Lega Headdress

This type of head adornment is worn by the members of the highest ranks of the secret bwami society governing the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives and who instruct their adherents in terms of moral perfectionThese objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and can therefore only be worn by the initiates. The owner cannot part with it during his life. Bwami has varying degrees, with yananio and kindi being the highest.

The materials used vary, they can be clothing buttons, cauris, shells, pearls or cocoa beans. On a carefully braided cap of natural fibres, this head cover is completely covered with rows of buttons, glass beads and long braids of vegetable fiber. This headdress was once topped with elephant hair in reference ...


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250.00

Bozo Puppet Mask
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African art > African mask > Bozo Mask

Elaborate structure for this imposing piece of African bozo art.
Established on an open panel, five figures with articulated arms above an imposing bovine head with circular horns. This polychrome mask has eyes with long hair lashes. On the back, a cotton cloth concealed the support to move the mask.
The Bozo , mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the inner Niger 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.Besides their remarkable masks, the Bozo and the Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the theater ...


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League figurines
African art > African Statues > League Statues

Ex Belgian African art collection.
The primitive art of lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest rank of bwami from different communities. This type of statuette of tribal art Iginga ( Maginga plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers of the Bwami , a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were inited. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects ...


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180.00

Masque Dan Déangle
African art > African mask > Ivory Coast Mask

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 have social, spiritual and political functions, often evolving over time. Mask with regular features, whose losangic mouth evoking luscious lips forms a constant of masks dan, and whose split eyes belong to the type deanglé . Here it is decorated with a thick trimming of braided raffia, and rows of cauris arranged in decorative motif in the center of the skull. A bulge of curved fabric also the headdress. Dark, sained ...


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185.00

Bamileke Pageant Tabula " Kuo Koko"
African art > African Chair > Table Bamileke

In African art, the Bamiléké demonstrate their know-how through the use of multicolored beads.
This large cult seat, monoxyle, consists of a base and a circular plateau connected by four characters acting as curved caryatids 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 ...


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780.00

Large mask Lega Idumu
African art > African mask > Masque League

Sculpted in the heart at the center of the ovoid volume of this African Lega mask, the eyebrow arches are extended with a pointed nose. A narrow mouth was hollowed out in the bulge of the chin. A raffia beard extends the jaw. Glossy surface revealing the veining of wood, geometric patterns in checkerboards associated with ethnic scarfications. 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: 54 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 ...


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150.00

Small Lega Lukwakongo mask
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African art > African mask > Masquette Lega

Named Lukwagengo, these African masks in the shape of bleached faces, such as this reduced copy, are not face masks but are worn on the back of the head, on the forehead, hung on the shoulders, fixed on a bamboo stand or carried by hand during dances.
These are the insignia of the penultimate rank of the Bwami initiates who surround a mother mask named idumu .
The wooden versions measure around 20 cm while the bone or even ivory versions are even smaller. Within the Lega, the Bwami society 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 Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these ...


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Bozo fish mask
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African art > African mask > Bozo Mask

Bozo Polychromy of The African Art Sculptures of Mali
Bright Colors for this zoomorphic African mask with an elongated shape. Abrasions of use. 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.Besides their remarkable 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 itself on the initiative of young people from the villages, mainly in the region of Ségou, and which plays an educational role. The invention of ...


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Maternity figure Phemba Kongo
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African art > African Statues > Statue Phemba

Naturalism of the phemba in African art Kongo
The rituals of fertility and progeny, central themes of African cultures, are addressed through this motherhood. Sitting in a suit, she has a child on her lap. This realistic tribal sculpture is kneeling on a quadrangular base. On her chest and in the back she sports geometric scarifications. These cuts, made using needles, knives and razors, were then sprayed with charcoal or ash to accelerate healing and form protruding patterns Ingrained in ritual libations alternating with a patina. mahogany brown satin. Large desication crack.
In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the borders between present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came ...

Bamileke Hairhead "Juju hat"
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African art > Headdress Hat > Bamileke hat

Bamileke tribal art.
The Sumptuous Bamileke headdresses in traditional African art. Multicolored specimen for this dazzling African adornment of prestige, worn by the notables. It was during the elephant dance, tso, that the members of the Kuosi society, Kwosi, wore these impressive headdresses. They were worn over a multicolored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng, a fabric fabric, ndop, adorned with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances took place during festive ceremonies and funerals. Hats were once made from parrot feathers, now wild guinea fowl, the rarity of which was high cost. The feathers are attached to fabric-covered wooden strips, placed around a circular frame bound by a basket of wicker fibres. A society originally ...





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