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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.

Tikar Ritual Bell
African art > African bronze > Bronze Tikar

The leaders of the Cameroonian Grasslands, the Fon , reputed to hold treasures of works of art, including bracelets, necklaces, statues, bells, valued the founders and sculptors in the service of the kingdom. These productions, without which the conductor lost his prestige, aimed to magnify the role of the fon. The technique used was the cast with lost wax, the decorations varying according to the status of the recipient to whom the king wished to award a reward. The Bamoun sometimes bought works from the Tikars, who were also gifted in metalwork. From 1920, the founders no longer used exclusively for the court. Located in the border region of Nigeria, the northwestern province of Cameroon, Grassland is made up of several ethnic groups: Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke. ...


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450.00

Fertility statue Ashanti
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African art > African Statues > Statue Ashnati

In the African art of the Ashanti, maternity figures called esi mansa adorn the royal or family altars. They often represent a woman breastfeeding her child. This unusual male figure, however, adopts the features of fertility dolls akuaba with a flat, circular face. The friezes in losangic motifs bordering the room also evoke the decorative elements of the masks of the neighbouring Baoulé, as well as the joint eyebrows marked with a central scarification. The neck here is wrapped in ropes. Wide shoulders forming a bow extend with fists gripping blackened curds. A semi-spherical protruding umbilical evokes lineage. The flexing of the legs, like the general attitude, confers a dynamic giving the illusion of a ritual dance movement. These types of statues appeared as a couple. Surface ...


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Religious statuette Yiteke Yaka
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African art > African Statues > Religious statuette Yiteke Yaka

Statue of African - Yaka art with exaggerated sensory organs, the gesture of both hands is evocative of sadness, reflection and sorrow. These charms of lineage providing protection against enemies, were made according to the instructions of Nganga ngoombu and the Sponsor of the object. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, the Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right to life and death over their subjects, and the chase and the prestige that ensued were the occasion for nowadays, for the Yaka, to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals by means of charms. The society of initiation of the young is the n-khanda, which one finds among the oriental Kongo (Chokwe, Luba , etc.), which employs various charms and masks in order to ensure a ...

Dogon door
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African art > Door shutter > Dogon Gate

The closure systems of the Sudanese regions in African art
This component consists of an assemblage of two vertical planks maintained by two thin horizontal slats. Around the lock, different anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations associated with graphics appeal to the rich Cosmogon Dogon. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. Each of the characters at the top of the panel, in relation to spiritual life, wears a kanaga mask, displayed by the Dogon during mourning ceremonies. . Small scenes at the bottom of the panel also illustrate everyday life. Matte dark brown patina with residual ocrée inlays.
The motifs on the doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to deter ...


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Statuette mambila
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African art > African Statues > Mambila Fetish

Despite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea) (the U.S.0022 men" , fulani), settled in northwestern Cameroon, have created a large number of masks and statues easily identifiable by their faces in the heart. Although the Mambila believe in a creative god named Chang or Nama, they worship only their ancestors. Like wheat, their leaders were buried in attics because they were supposed to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women. This zoomorphic sculpture embodies a genius in the guise of a hybrid being, stylized, perchedDespite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea) (the " men" , in ...


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Namji Dowayo Fertility Statue
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African art > African Dolls > Namji doll

The dolls of the Namji or Dowayo , an animist mountain people living in northern Cameroon, have recently become known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. The umbilical is here encrusted with a cauri and highlighted with a string of red cootn, encrusted in the grainy patina. The face, flat and circular, on a stretched neck, wears scarifications, like the bust. These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, at first for the game of little girls. But these dolls are mostly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as such. In some cases the fiancé offered it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can also reproduce the ...

Figure Baoulé anthropo-zoomorphe
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African art > African Statues > Baoule figure

Belgian African art collection.
This baoulé sculpture, exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Pau in 1961, consisting of an effigy of asye usu associated with an animal forms an exceptional pair. The heads are turned in opposite directions, the arms are joined in order to welcome together the spirit of the bush, asye usu, or Mbra, an amuin (god) given to the Baoulé by the creator. These figures related to the worship of divination were carved following the dreams of the soothsayer. The surface of this baoulé statue gradually developed a chipped crustal film resulting from successive ritual libations. Acquired by Guy Mercier, consultant for the Solvay Group, who began to collect a vast collection of early art at the beginning of the 20th century. While radiating in West and Central ...

Statue Nkishi Kalebwe Songye
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African art > African fetish > Songye Fetish

Grenin sly- grimacing and half-closed gaze encrusted with cauris agree to give this nkishi a menacing appearance. The brass nails, inserted on the face of this sculpture of African art, would evoke smallpox. The Maniema region was hit hard by epidemics and in African culture, metal has magical, therapeutic and apotropaic properties. Ritual ingredients were also introduced into the abdomen (bishimba) into the horn when present. Textiles, feathers and necklaces were also necessary attributes to guard against witchcraft. The ventral load was taken from this subject. The ear holes also bear witness to loops, usually made of metal, which are now absent. The skull is draped in a beanie of animal skin, and a skirt of the same parched material, on which remain hairs, rises in the back of the ...

Masque Chokwe Pwo
African art > African mask > Tchokwe Mask

This African Chokwe mask features a basket helmet draped in a textile and extended with a woven seedling in plant fibres. An abundant hair, composed of twisted cotton ribbons, conceals the whole. The hairstyle is reminiscent of the red earthen hair of the Chokwe women. A narrow headband decorated with raised motifs is carved on the forehead. The fineness of the features is a recurrence in the sculpture of Chokwe masks. Dark brown, sained skate. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of ...


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480.00

Statuette Luba
African art > African Statues > Fetish Luba

This male figure, seated and supporting his chin of his graceful limbs, offers a meditative appearance. She would be an ancestor. Created in order to communicate with the guardian spirits, this sculpture was part of the U-002mvidye", intermediaries between the spiritual world and individuals, which can also embody the spirits of nature in the Luba of Kasai. The top of the head dispode dispode of crusty residues, presumably of an ancient magic load. Dark brown satin patina. Abrasions of use.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means \


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180.00

Hunting whistle Yaka janus Yimbila
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African art > Usual african items > Yaka Whistle

Ritual charms in African art Yaka
This type of object-talisman, worn as a pendant, was used by the chief during collective hunts, in order to alert his team or his dog, in order to direct the prey towards a goal. The whistling was modulated by the lateral appendage. The double head motive is supposed to protect hunters from any occult influence that jeopardizes the outcome of the enterprise. The success of the hunts was assured by specialists thanks to a wide variety of ritual objects, bags filled with protective magic substances, transportable, but also assemblages of various materials placed in shelters. Dark oiled patina, slightly abraded by use.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life ...

Female figure Ashanti
African art > African Statues > Statue Ashanti

In the Ashanti, female figures called esi mansa adorn the royal or family altars. They often represent a woman breastfeeding her child. In a ritual attitude, hands outstretched, palms flat in anticipation of offerings, this feminine pest sounding sitting on a royal stool sports the characteristic ringed neck and thin black beaded bracelets. This type of sculpture set to many ritual washes, hence their clear and matte amber patina. The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups that belong to the Akan group, established on the former Gold Coast, Ghana since 1957. Producers of commemorative terracotta related to funeral rites, they also mastered the melting of metals. The Antifounded a monarchy as early as the 17th century. The identities of the various ethnic groups Akan have been influenced by ...


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280.00

Small currency Songye Kabengele
African art > African Currencies > African currency

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 come from parade objects or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars named barriferri . In 1556 in Djenné Jean-Léon the African observed that the people used iron to pay " things of little value". The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the appearance of particularly aesthetic non-figurative sculpture. This miniature hoe named Kabengele (pl. Tubengele) was used ...


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150.00

Luluwa Warrior Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Lulua

Ex-collection French African art.
The primitive art of CongoThe different types of statues Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua, present multiple scarifications, and glorify local leaders, motherhood, fertility and the female figure. This character sports a prominent umbilical and a streaked lower abdomen, center of the body and " object of all solicitudes" ( The Power of the Sacred , M. Faïk-Nzuji ) Diamonds, erogenous and symbolic protruding scarifications, checkered circles and rectangles embellish strategic parts of the anatomy of this warrior effigy. An appendage in the form of a loop ending in a bun forms her hairstyle. 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 ...


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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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Punu Okuyi Mask
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African art > African mask > Punu Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
African Punu Mask with an imposing headdress topped with the representation of a ram's head, and whose braids fall back to the cracks of the lips. The eyes are found in coffee beans, but the usual frontal scarifications are absent, making this mask a rare object.


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Black Punu Ikwara mask
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African art > African mask > Punu mask

Stylistic variations of punu African art.
According to Alisa LaGamma, this African mask for Ikwara dance served as a difficult palaver. Vigil mask dancing on small stilts, it is capped with a cylindrical top shell with two side quilts, its distinctive tribal sign remaining however the frontal bands, the temporal and the commissures of the white lips contrasting with the black patina of the whole . These characteristics link him to the Tsengi of the punu-bakaya region. Lack on the back of the cap. Altered granular surface. Gabon's white masks, itengi (pl., Bitengi), were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, notably the Bwiti, Bwete and Mwiri ("directing"), the latter being divided into several levels of initiation, which belonged to to all men punished, and whose ...


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Igbo crest mask
African art > African mask > Igbo Crest

This mask is topped with a feminine effigy of a warrior, linking it to ikenga sculptures, some of which are emblazoned with multiple horns, or intricate geometric elements. This type of African statues depicts a character with attributes such as jewelry and scarifications "ichi", and in this case the armed character has a war trophy.
Mate polychrome patina, crusty agglomerates. Cracks.
The Igbo are based in the southern Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Ikenga is a personal altar symbolizing personal achievement and success (okpossi), the representation of its tutelary spirit (chi, vital energy), as well as the recipient of sacrifices offered periodically or prior to the commitment of important action (most often to ifejioku, yam deity, or all, goddess of the earth). In ...


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390.00

Masque League
African art > African mask > Masque League


Simplicity and sobriety combine for Lega masks. This copy is no exception to the rules, with its protruding eyelids housed in arches in the heart. This object indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning company composed of different ranks, and which were joined by the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Surface with matte patina, kaolin residue, haloes. Fragment of raffia beard. 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 individuals live in ...


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280.00

Dogon Gate
African art > Door shutter > Volet Dogon

The systems of closure of the Sahelian regions in African art

This door Dogon equipped with its lock, carefully carved and rich in details, evokes by its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations the Cosmogon Dogon. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. Each of the characters at the top of the panel wears a kanaga mask, worn by the Dogon at the mourning ceremonies. Different scenes, in connection with daily life, also adorn this door. On the lock is represented the house of the owner. It is not a decorative element that does carry a particular symbolism, while allegorical in African culture. The set consists of three fixed vertical panels held by horizontal elements at its upper and lower ...


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650.00

Chokwé Hunting Whistle
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African art > Usual african items > Chokwé Whistle

Jan Putteneers African Art Collection.

Usual object but also ceremonial, he accompanied the Chokwe who wore it as a pendant, which helped polish their surface. The sculpted head could represent a head wearing the crown chipangula. Two small side holes have been fitted out for sound.
Played together, whistles, produced in large numbers, were used both during dances and hunting to call dogs but also to war. Thanks to the few sounds they made, information was exchanged from one place to another.
The Chokwé have become known in the Western world for their works of art, which are highly appreciated in the general context of African art.
The sculpted face of the founding hero Tshibinda Ilunga is recognized on this piece. This central character has a very special ...


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