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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.

Boa Kpongadomba Mask
African art > African mask > Boa mask

Ex-French African art collection.
Endowed with oversized ears, perforated as were once the pavilions of the ears of the Boa of the East, the "bavobongo", and a mouth filled with scattered animal teeth, This African tribal mask gave an impressive look to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors. The red ochre here has faded and the kaolin coating has lost its whiteness. The surface remains velvety. Supposed to make invulnerable and in order to terrify the enemy, the African mask kpongadomba or "Pongdudu" of the Boa was commanded by the kumu chief who offered it to the most valiant warrior. He was then kept in his wife’s box. Close to mangbetu and Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa reportedly used these masks for ...


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490.00

Figure Benin in bronze
African art > African Statues > Statue bronze

This bronze statue depicts a member of the Blacksmiths Guild or a commissionaire in charge of trade with the Portuguese. Soberly dressed, he sports beaded jumpers between the traditional tattoos of the bust "iwu" and a long loincloth. The effigy probably formed the top of a cane. He carries an axe and a shackle, a symbol of trade with Europe. Abraded black skate, grey-green reflections. 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 altars consecrated by each new oba, king of the ethnic group. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and sticks. The commemorated Oba was subject to offerings in order to come into ...


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250.00

Kirdi Primitive Currency
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Kirdi Currency

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The group named Kirdi or "païens" by the Islamic peoples, are a population of Central Africa, mainly present in the far north of Cameroon, also in Nigeria.The Kirdi include the Matakam, Kapsiki, Margui, Mofou, Massa, Toupouri, Fali, Namchi, Bata, Do ayo... They live on agriculture, fishing and livestock. This piece was one of the kind used in the 1950s in Nigeria to acquire a slave or a wife. It was necessary to gather about forty for a slave, and they were at that time part of the dowry for most Bantu tribes. 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 ...


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Etoffe Ncak nsueha Bushoong
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African art > African Textile > Pagne Kuba

Ex-collection French tribal art.
Prestigious fabrics among the objects of African art KubaProduce in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, mainly, subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real first art paintings, consist of a textile base in raffia. 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 weaving technique to the Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the Kuba to the art of forging. It was the men who ...

Fetish Yaka Yiteke
African art > African fetish > Statuette Yaka

A janiform fetish Yaka sheathed in textiles and hoops in basketry and whose bulging abdomen is a reliquary for a magical charge. These primitive African statues protecting against enemies were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's sponsor. This object of tribal art was then activated using rituals and incantatory formulas. Red paint brushes were applied to the textile draping the bust of the hierarchical and authoritarian statuette, composed of fearsome warriors, the Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that ensues are an opportunity today for the Yaka to invoke ancestors and resort to rituals using charms named yiteke linked to the institution "khosi". The initiation ...


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180.00

Ngil Fang Mask
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African art > African mask > Fang Mask

Ex-Dutch African art collection.
This copy of the African Mask Ngil is crowned here with a hem cap in the image of some of the traditional hairstyles used among the Fang. These primary art masks are commonly characterized, despite certain variants, by a bulging frontal volume such as that of this longiform copy, raised eyebrow arches with small scrutinizing eyes, a stretched nasal appendage, and a pout mouth lodged in the chin in point. A pyrogravated decoration accompanies the object, evoking the scarifications of the ethnic group. The mask was brushed with kaolin. The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, was supposed to cause dread. This type of mask was worn with adornment and accessories by members ...


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Statuette Ngbaka, Bwaka
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African art > African Statues > Statue Zande

The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities, such as a heart-shaped face, as in the Ogooué River region of Gabon. Some authors (Celenko 1983) have attributed this type of work to the Zande living north of the Ngbaka.The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live to the east and the Ngombe to the south. The African tribal art 'a target''blank' rel'nofollow' href-"http://www.ngbaka.ugent.be/beliefs"-ngbaka has given birth to some statues depicting their mythical heroes Nabo and Seto that they revere and a very number restricted masks. Zoomorphic figures were used for hunting.
The heart is coated with burgundy pigments. A fine incision is made in the mouth at the ridge of the chin. ...


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Large colon Baoulé
African art > African Statues > Colon Baulé

Western influences in African art baoulé .
This monoxyle sculpture is a life-size effigy commonly known as "colon". It depicts a black man, in the guise of a colonial administrator or a territorial agent. He holds a pipe, removable, and a cup, and sits on a prestigious seat, engraved with decorative motifs and endowed with a natural matte patina. Desication cracks. Since the end of the 18th century, the Baoulé have produced this type of sculpture for tourists. Some 60 ethnic groups populate Côte d'Ivoire, including the Baoulé in the centre, Akans from Ghana, a savannah people, hunting and farming, as well as the Gouro, whose cults and masks they borrowed. The basic unit is lineage, under the responsibility of an elder, whose functions are political and religious. Their name , ...


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1250.00

Dogon Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

This African Dogon mask is one of the many stylistic variations of dogon masks, icons of dogon tribal art. In the dense wood on which the libation residues now form a chipped film, the features are abruptly cut: a nose soaring on either side of eyes hollowed out in triangle, lips ajar for the mouth that develops over the width of The face. Cracks.
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 ...


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Ashanti Akuaba Ghana doll
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African art > African Dolls > Statuette Ashanti

The doll statuettes Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identifiable by their structure. Their circular head has a high forehead occupying the upper part, the lines usually appear in 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 absent, the trunk integrating directly into a slightly wider base.
Oiled Black Skate. Visible usage marks. Lack at the top.
This 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 ...


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Ritual object Igbo /Ofo N dichie
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African art > African Statues > Bronze Igbo

The sculptures, Ofo mediators in African art
This sculpture combining wood and metal, named Ofo (named after the tree in which it was made), has a stylized face topped by a large crest in the shape of a shovel. Its body is formed by an adorned with spiral patterns in relief, under a ringed neck. A rare and symbolic piece held by an elder named N'dichie , and associated with the agnatic lineage, on which one sometimes took an oath, this black-iron object was arranged in Igbo houses and altars. This tradition then spread to neighbouring ethnic groups. From a botanical sculpture from a tree "masculin", and composed of brittle twigs, images of boys dependent on their father and then detaching from it, this object is part of a type of achievement ( skeuomorphs) of Nigerian culture, made ...

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Statue Songye Kalebwe
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Songye Fetish

The brass nails, inserted on the face of this sculpture of African art, covered with strips of oxidized copper, would evoke small pox. 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 it was present, sometimes also in pouches attached to the loincloth, in order to strengthen the power of the object. Textiles, feathers and necklaces were also necessary attributes to guard against witchcraft. However, this copy is devoid of accessories, having not yet been activated by the nganga, or having been desecrated. The face of the man is both reminiscent of the kifwebe mask. The massive volumes, bounded by sharp angles, lend a robust ...


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Baoulé Ndoma Mask
African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

Ex-French African art collection.
This African baoulé mask, a sculpture named portrait mask or Ndoma, has a crest with a hemispheric central element leaning on a panel flanked by two pendeloques. The placid appearance, with modestly lowered eyelids, is enhanced by scarifications called " ngole". Glossy dark brown surface. 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 dance ceremonies of entertainment. 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 scarifications. They perform during dance ...


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290.00

Danse Zaouli s Gouro Gu Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Danse Zaouli's Gouro Gu Mask

ANIMAL SYMBOLISM IN AFRICAN ART

Made of heavy wood, this African monoxyle mask depicts a thin female face wearing two striated horns that combine with zoomorphic figures: a bird seizes a snake, a figure generally associated with Mami Wata. The expressive face with heavy carmine eyelids seems to enjoy the colorful scene, allegorical, taking place at the top. This African mask Gouro, with its contrasting colors, has a bright lacquer and satin. Remnants of his raffia set, tied with a cotton cord, remain tied around the edges of the mask. Among the southern Mande group in central Côte d'Ivoire, the Gouro have been using since the 1950s a family of African masks associated with the Zaouli dance. Like the Goli masks of the Baoulé, the set of Guro masks comes in two zoomorphic ...


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Statuette Lwalwa, Lwalu
African art > African Statues > Statue Lwalwa

This tribal statuette has a head with the features of the Nkaki mask, whose busted nose evokes the beak of the calao. A pointed chin completes the concave face. The pupils are pierced in the center of the eyes simply drawn. This sculpture participated in fertility rites and ceremonies supposed to appease geniuses, mediating spirits between the group and their ancestors. The detail of the digitized hands and feet brings a neat note to this piece characterized by a beautiful balance between the width of the shoulders and the lower limbs, at the back between the relief of the shoulder blades and the pelvis. Beautiful dark patina, sained. Very slight cracks and abrasions.
The Lwalwa live between Angola and Zaire, between the Kasai River and the Lweta. Historically having a matrilineal ...


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380.00

Baoulé colon is a statuette
African art > African Statues > Baoulé Colon

Western influences in Baoulé African art
A massive, rectangular bust, responds here to the flat volume of the headdress. The arms of the subject, cut in the same block, disappear in the extension of wide hips: the baoulé sculptor has thus set out to lend to this effigy of European official of the early twentieth century, soldier, colonial administrator, wearing boots , and commonly known as "colon", a casual but assured posture, hands slid into the pockets. The treatment of the face, summary, favors a slight emphasis of a subtly asymmetrical appearance, marked by two oblique scarifications. The blackened volumes have the stigma of the herminette. Deep desication cracks. Oiled patina, satin touch. Tiny residues of red ochre highlights on the strokes. Original base that will be ...


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550.00

Toma Bakrogui Mask
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African art > African mask > Toma Mask

With two thick horns, this African mask associated with ancestors, the bakrogui , has only reduced orifices for vision. The headband is highlighted with a cord, and accompanied by a central pattern comparable to a horn and accessorized with a small bundle of vegetable fibers, and two cloth pouches, small talismans. The lower part forms a large rounded chin. Only members of the Poro were allowed to contemplate the mask bakrogui . Grainy surface.
The Toma of Guinea, called Loma in Liberia, live in the forest, at altitude. They are renowned for their landai board masks intended to animate the initiation rites of the association poro which structures their society, and which represent spirits of the bush. As soon as the mask appeared landaï , the initiates went to the forest to stay ...


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Goli Kplé Mask
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African art > African mask > Baule Mask

This flat, circular African mask, the least important in the hierarchy of African Goli masks, is lined with losangic motifs, equipped with hollowed-out eyes topped with protruding pupils, and has a rectangular mouth in which a dentition is chiseled, in relation to the traditional image of teeth in young people. It is surmounted by a figure displaying the same mask in miniature, clinging to the top horns. The female mask kplekple, according to some authors (African Barbier-Mueller Masks, p.116) would be red. Vogel (Baule) indicates, however, that in the Baoulé version of the Goli the male mask is painted red, and the feminine is painted black. It is likely that this allocation varies from village to village. Generally preceding the manifestation of a series of masks of the " family Goli ...


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Holo Santu nzaambi sculpted figurative panel
African art > African Statues > Statue Holo

This sign was intended for the affliction cults nzaambi , also practiced by the Yaka , rituals that allowed to deal with a problem whose divinatory practices had been able to establish the source. While the Holos were likely inspired by Christian iconography, they honored spirits and not a single god. Often intended to promote hunting, fertility or good health, these sculptures had to be ritually beended by the interest of different substances. Brown skate. Scattered abrasions.
Located in democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small ethnic Holo migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango. Hunting and agriculture provide for their livelihood. Neighbouring ethnic groups, such as the Suku, influenced their traditional sculptures. The ...

Figure of rider Bamoun
African art > Bellows > Bamoun statue


This rider Bamoun mastering a pitched horse would represent King N'Doya in his victory over the Fulani in the 19th century. Armed with a sword carried in a sheath slung over his shoulder, he also has a sword. A dark brown leather dresses the shapes of the character and his mount, a lighter leather sheaths the hooves. The king is dressed in a canvas loincloth, the Hausa having introduced the clothing transformations in the Bamoun, he wears leather stirrups connected by a rigid wicker rod. The various decorative elements and materials form an exceptional work here. The Bamuns live in an area that is both full of wooded reliefs but also savannahs. This large territory called Grassland in southwestern Cameroon is also home to other close ethnic groups such as the Bamiléké and Tikar. ...


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1250.00

Benin Okpa rooster figure
African art > African bronze > Bronze Benin

Ex-collection Spanish tribal art.
The royal iconography in the bronzes of African art of the benign kingdomThis animal evoking assurance and pride is a metaphor for the oldest wife of the Oba, the ruler of Benin. This is always the case in family harems. This is why the saying "the rooster sings the strongest" indeed qualifies the authority, wisdom and experience of the oldest wife. It was also part of the sacrificial offerings to the god Olokun. Produced by the guild of royal smelters, this zoomorphic figure is embellished with a finely streaked surface representing the plumage of the volatile. The animal is perched on a quadrangular base and an abundance of details are engraved on the whole. Black skate. Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the ...


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580.00





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