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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.

Statuette Beembe, Bembe, en ivoire
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African art > African Statues > Bembé Fetish

Rare ivory sculpture depicting a male ancestor Bembé,Béembé, this figurine has, engraved on the bust, body marks associated with scarifications, witnesses of the social and initiation evolution of the individual, specific to cultures Kongo. Almond eyes were originally to be encrusted with mother-of-pearl, bone or earthenware. The attitude, seated in a suit, is the attitude adopted by dignitaries during interviews. The character holds a fly-hunt, badge of authority. The attention to detail and symmetry characterizes this refined work. Golden surface by oil anointings mixed with red ochre pigments.Ex. Mercier collection. A piece that predates the ivory regulations.
Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex. Brazzaville, the small group of Babembé (pl.) was ...

Female statuette Ngbaka Nabo
African art > African Statues > Statue Ngbaka

The Ngbaka in African art.

Farmers, they are part of a group of various ethnic groups located on the left bank of Ubangui, in the extreme northwest of Congo. Their artistic achievements, very diverse but with few masks, were inspired by those of the neighbouring tribes. Young people are prepared for adult life through rituals called "gaza" and trained by former initiates, the bugaza. Their statues usually represent the primordial ancestors Sèto and his sister-wife Nabo , or the god Gàlè guarantor of fertility. They are placed on altars for rites 'a target' _blank' href'http://www.ngbaka.ugent.be/beliefs'-propitiatory.
Abeland on short legs apart, the figure with the column bust has arms equally separated from the body. The prominent tenon umbilical evokes lineage, ...


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280.00

Statuette Mikisi Luba
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African art > African Statues > Fetish Luba

Supporting her chest with her hands placed in shells, this feminine effigy luba, spiritual medium, has delicate, regular features inscribed in an ovoid face. Its headdress, behind a large headband revealing a shaved forehead, is related to that worn by Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. Her attitude reminds us that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. The checkerboard scarifications forming diamonds on the abdomen, horizontal on the lower abdomen, dot his bust. The umbilical has a prominence that also emphasizes its role of fertility and transmission of life. Smooth, sained skate. Slight cracks.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, ...


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Songye Fetish Statue
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African art > African Statues > Songye Fetish

Three faces formed from the mask Kifwebe (sing.) make up the head of our fetish Songye which, instead of the summit horn, has the high crest of the mask kia ndoshi , meaning its power. The masks Bifwebe for members of the Bwadi Bwa have parallel grooves, bleached, evoking the antelope but also the initiation path. The fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ) is represented classically, the digitized hands placed on either side of the umbilical which is most often encrusted with a magical charge bishimba . The character is also draped in a cotton loincloth from which protrude wide feet.
The sculpture is coated with a dark brown patina punctuated with ochre residual inlays.
These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. They could not be touched directly, ...


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Ancestor figure Bassikassingo-Bassilugezi
African art > African Statues > Statue Bassikassingo

The influence of migratory movements in African art
Migration flows have intermingled within the same territories of the Bembe , Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo , Binji and Bangubangu. The Bassikassingo , considered by some to be a sub-clan Buyu , are not of bembe origin although they live on their territory, the work of Biebuyck has allowed to trace their history. Organized in line-ups, they borrowed the association of the Bwami Lega. The bembé and boyo traditions are relatively similar They venerate the spirits of nature, water specifically among the Boyo, but also heroic ancestors, whose will is sought to be known through divinatory rites. Hunting is also an opportunity to make sacrifices of gratitude to the entities whose favour sities have been called for and protected. Their masks ...

Masque Ibibio Eket
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African art > African mask > Masque Ibibio

The African art and tribal masks of the Ekpo
D'ample orbital cavities, where protruding pupils are hollowed out, and between which points a triangular nose make up most of our African Eket mask, from the collection of the painter 'a href'"http://wiki.ibb.town/Karl-Heinz-Engstfeld"- Karl Heinz Engstfeld and 'a href-U'0022https://evibb.de/home/wir-trauern-um-ruth-engstfeld-schremper/U-0022 stained glass. A large mouth reveals a row of sharp teeth. The thick granular patina coated forms cracks, and the alternating use of red ochre pigments and white kaolin on the eyes accentuates the hypnotic character. The Ekets, based in southeastern Nigeria, are a subgroup of the Ibibio ethnic group known for its expressive masks. It is a patrilineal society whose villages are governed by the ...


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Lega initiation statuette
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African art > African Statues > Lega Statues

The African art of the Lega , Balega, or Warega , is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket intended for the highest rank of bwami of 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.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 self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi , is held by the ...


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Kru Mask
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African art > African mask > Kru Mask

The African tribal art of Côte d'Ivoire and its fantastic masks
With four pairs of tubular eyes, in reference to the phrase often quoted in West Africa "four eyes", describing a person endowed with a power of divination, this Kru board mask features a fleshy lip mouth brushed with red ochre. Decorative motifs carved into the wood are enhanced with clear pigments contrasting with the dark patina of the whole. The top has a crest of feathers. The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups, including the Grebo, based in southern Liberia and southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Their leader is the bodio, who lives reclusively. Unlike most people in West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of origin oubi , and could symbolize the mythical ...


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Markha janiform hem mask
African art > African mask > Markha Mask

In African art, the Marka, Maraka en Bamana, Warka, or Sarakolé, are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, established in southern Niger, scattered since the end of Ghana's empire in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. 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. Sculptors of African art Bambara and Marka are part of the Numuw , who are not linked to an ethnic group and are free to settle wherethey wish.
Two faces assembled by a summit ridge form a heavy hem mask. The straight nose rises above the small, prominent mouth in a pointed chin. To rectangular ears are attached loops. Incised metal strips of parallel lines and punctuated with dotted lines, the specificity of ...


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290.00

Bwami Lega initiation figure
African art > African Statues > League Statues

This Lega sculpture, whose morphology carved into the block of wood reveals reduced breasts pointing under enveloping shoulders, belonged to an initiate of the Bwami and was part of a set used during the initiations. Fingers like claws placed on the bust extend the arms, all evoking wings. The face qant to him adopts the recurring characteristics of lega sculpture. A flared base supports the object, itself fixed on a circular base.
Clear and matte patina, abrasions of use, velvety surface.
The Teacher of the Bwami guided the aspiring lega to a place where African lega masks and statuettes were exhibited, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these objects, true metaphors largely referring to proverbs ...


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280.00

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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Mask Dan Zapkei or Gunye ge
African art > African mask > Masque Dan

This African mask from Côte d'Ivoire distinguished by its salient metal-studded eyes sports a grainy patina resulting from ritual libations. At the contours of the mask, consolidated by this same sacrificial cauldron, the remains of a canvas hood whose ends knotted at the top adjoin with long nails. A thick raffia beard embellishes the jaws. The parallel grooves engraved around the face recall the traditional scars of the Dan. This mask is known as the "-race mask (sharp face, hollowed out round eyes, a long mouth and a lo-blinked mouth held against the face using cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and knotted behind the head. Tradition has it that its wearer be pursued by an unmasked runner; If he is caught, he must pass the mask to the winner, who in turn will be ...


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600.00

Bembé polychrome hemma mask
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African art > African mask > Masque Bembe

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga , Alunga , exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and ceremonies before the hunt. A hem mask embodying the god Alunga, it has four high and wide concave orbits with a conical pupil in relief. Between the orbits a circular orifice highlighted by concentric grooves evokes the mouth. Growths at the top, on which were attached feathers, evoke small ears or horns. the circular base is also equipped with perforations in order to be able to fix the raffia adornment to conceal its wearer. A vocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was preserved in the sacred caves and it was during the feasts associated with hunting and the cults of ancestors that it was exhibited. Flat masks ...

Reliquary figure Kota Mahongwe
African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang . In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota , these figures have reached a degree of stylization and abstraction as toddning: reduced to the shoulders and to the "" topped with a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).
The warhead face topped with a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of an edge instead of the nose. Thin strips of copper and brass alternate on the ...


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480.00

Zamblé Gouro Mask
African art > African mask > Guro Mask

Among the group of Mande from the south, in the centre of 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 art creations African tribal system. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the Zaouli dance since the 1950s . 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, which is considered the wife of the mask zamblé , the Gu . These masks are the property of families who worship the ancestors of blood-lurking, who make ritual and sacrificial use of them in order to attract divine blessings. Priest and soothsayer share ...


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280.00

Bronze sculpture Bamoun
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African art > African bronze > King Bamoun

The art of bronze in African art at the service of the King.
The king, a bearded figure, a symbol of wisdom, sits in his carrier chair, accompanied by his children. The whole thing is topped by an elegant removable parasol with crenellated edges. All the characters present the typical features of bamoun sculptures such as globular eyes and imposing nose.
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. Several centralized chiefdoms, or kingdoms, based on customary associations, secret societies, are organized around the Fon which would have broad supernatural powers including that of being able to transform into an animal such as the python, the ...


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Nok head in terracotta
African art > African Terracotta > Nok Head

This Nok head is accompanied by its thermoluminescence test carried out in 1996 by the German laboratory Ralf Kotalla (TL 961155), which confirms a seniority of more or less 2,200 years. Estimated in the auction room between 2,000 and 2,500 euros, this African terracotta comes from the Guy Mercier collection, consultant for the Solvay group, and passed down from generation to generation. At the beginning of the 20th century, Guy Mercier began to collect a vast collection of African tribal art. While radiating in West and Central Africa as part of his work, and collecting in-situ works, the majority of his collection nevertheless comes from \


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Figure of calao Baga
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African art > African Statues > Statue Baga

The figure of the bird in the African art of Guinea
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded 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 , figured by a large cage covered with raffia whose top is a bird's head. Another spirit adopts a form of snake, the bansonyi, head of the class insiders to-lom . The nimba, the shoulder mask, evokes a fertile woman. Each family has, among a variety of consecrated objects, an altar in the form of a composite figure of bird and human, a-tshal or elek , which rises from a circular base. Frequent sacrifices are supposed to reactivate the protective power of the Elek. ...


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Relic statue Fang Byeri
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African art > African Statues > Statue Fang

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Guardian anthropomorphic figure of the reliquary containing the bones of the deceased, on which it was recorded by the posterior stalk. This statue has a stretched bust in which the umbilical holds an important place. This protrusion is related to the pride attached to parentage. The exhorbitated gaze with metal pupils belongs to an individual in trance who would be in mediation with the world of the afterlife. A slight twist of the lower limbs inwards is noteworthy, a detail frequently reported by Fang sculptors, a symptom following certain physiological impairments. The black brown patina, smooth and oiled, becomes clear from the umbilical. A disturbing reputation as cannibals accompanied the Fang people, carefully studied by ethnologist Louis ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

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, 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, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these figures have reached a ...


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230.00

Yaka N-kisyan nkanda mask
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African art > African mask > Yaka Mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
A headdress consisting of two circular trays distinguishes this African mask from the northern Yaka that enhances a trumpet nose, a distinctive feature and phallic symbol. The circular frame surrounding the face is reduced on this copy to a single visor. Introductory songs accompanied the appearance of a Yaka African mask, which incorporates the category of high-ranking masks thanks to its tiered headdress. Their design aroused the creativity of the sculptors whom the chefs rewarded for their talent. The raffia headdress is always present. A handle is hidden under the raphia's appear. Very nice polychromy. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over ...


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