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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.

Statue Ambete
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Ambete

Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or AmbeteThe cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by carved figures frequently playing the role of reliquary. This statue has a dorsal cavity blocked by a shutter. A resin remains in the trunk. The flat side offers the characteristic details: narrow, semi-closed eyelids depicted by cauris, sheltered under slanted eyebrows, a triangular nose extending from the forehead, a narrow hollowed-out mouth. The hairstyle is arranged in braids gathered in shells. The arms on the chest are folded at a right angle. Semi-flexed muscular legs, carried by large feet, evoke a ritual dance. Grainy kaolin patina, chipped, and use of burgundy brown hues.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of Middle Congo, neighbouring ...


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Ngbaka figure
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Ngbaka figure

Firmly established on wide feet, this female figure places the tips of her fingers on a bulbous abdomen. The triangular face, where large heart-shaped globes are housed, has scarifications represented by notches and concentric holes. An unusual singularity lies in the detail of a cord crossing the jaw. This statuette was probably used in fertility or therapeutic rites.
Patina consisting of grainy ocher deposits. Erosions and cracks.

br>Agriculturists, they are part of a group of various ethnic groups settled on the left bank of the Ubangui, in the far north-west of the Congo. Their artistic creations, which are very diverse but include few masks, were inspired by those of neighboring tribes. Young people are prepared for adult life through rituals called "gaza" and ...


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Dan mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

Actor of the social order, the African mask Dan would be, according to Eberhard Fisher, of feminine or masculine type. The almond-shaped face, coated with a black patina, is pierced with circular holes encircled with metal. A sumptuous raffia headdress and a small beard complete the ensemble. Smooth satin patina.
The masks equipped with round orbits (named gunyeya or gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the set of Dan masks northern and are used for racing events during the dry season. The zapkei ge


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180.00

Dan Go gé mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

Unlike the African masks of the Dan of the northern region with a smooth patina, the southern masks offer a grainy surface, such as this example with a majestic headdress. br>Two types of secondary masks are particularly theatrical: racing masks, gunye ge , intended for inter-clan competitions that required good vision, and fire-keeper masks, zapkei ge . Other royal masks ,the go ge , used only on special occasions, have an identical physiognomy and are adorned with a sumptuous headdress lined with cowries, textiles, and sometimes feathers.


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Baule Waka Sona statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule colon

This statuette is represented frontally, in a confident posture, hands in the pockets. The oversized feet are joined. Abraded polychrome patina. Some sixty ethnic groups populate the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, in the center, Akans from Ghana, people of the savannah, practicing hunting and agriculture just like the Gouro from whom they borrowed ritual cults and sculpted masks. Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé, Baulé, within the ritual framework: The Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baoulé, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien diviners, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of ...


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110.00

Beembe statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Beembe statue

The Beembé are appreciated in African art for the care and finishing given to the sculptures of ancestors.
Couple of statues figured side by side. Intricate keloid tattoos are drawn in relief from the chest to the pubis. These scarifications bear witness to the successive stages of initiation to which an individual has been subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with horn. This type of sculpture formed a support intended for the rituals of the Lemba society, with a view to healing for example. Golden satin patina, dark highlights, deep erosions.
Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembe group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, ...


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490.00

Baule mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baule mask

Appearing nowadays during celebrations associated with the Gbagba dance, this African mask of the "Moon" type integrates all the masks associated with natural phenomena, such as the setting sun, the arc- rainbow and the moon, and "warms up" the scene before larger masks appear.
This unusual circular mask, presenting several intertwined faces, is also surmounted by a statuette sculpted in the round. Smooth, satiny, black-brown patina, residual kaolin encrustations.
The African art of the Baoulé, an Akan group established in the south-east of Côte d'Ivoire, includes a wide range of masks renowned for their quality, finesse and symmetry. On the one hand, these African masks transposing the main features of the face of a very beautiful young girl or a remarkable man, ...


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280.00

Bamoun Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bamoun Mask

African art productions among the Chiefdoms of Grassland
This African tribal mask, carved in dense wood, displays features highlighted with polychrome glass beads. This type of masks Bamoun is worn on the top of the head, unlike most Bamileke face masks. The traits are usually highlighted from Pe- , a mixture of palm oil and padouk wood, blood-red wood, some of which are coated during rejoicing ceremonies, and which, after being grated, is kept in carved wooden containers. On this copy, however, the grainy patina adopts a dark hue.
Asland-called Grasslands live the Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke ethnic groups. The influence of this inter-ethnic proximity is felt by common traits on pieces of art, such as the tendency to represent chubby characters with ...


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Wobe mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Wobe mask

This example is reminiscent of African Dan masks, but its features are more accentuated. Granular particles of kaolin form a wolf that covers the eyes and encompasses the nose. With scattered teeth protruding from thick lips, a braid and a beard made of natural fibers, he would embody a fearsome spirit, a supernatural power, that of the forest. He would appear equipped with numerous accessories, during night outings, illuminated by the light of torches.
Semi-mate patina.
The Wé produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , in the north, and the Wé of the south ( Krou group including the Guéré , the Wobé of the northeast, and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), made use of frequent borrowing due to their proximity. The ...


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Zande Nazeze figure fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Zande figure

A bust in capsule, punctuated with a cowrie, established on two legs, the whole surmounted by a voluminous head, blind, where the size of the ear pavilions calls out... the whole is articulated with creativity for this statuette of the Mani-Yanda cult. Satin patina. Formerly referred to as " Niam-Niam " because they were considered anthropophagous, the tribes grouped under the name Zande , Azandé , settled, from Chad, on the border of the D.R.C.(Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms into the animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs upon his death. Their sculptures have been linked to their secret society since the early 20th century, the Mani, exalting the importance of women. Their ...


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160.00

Statuette fetish Yanda Zandé, Azande
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Zande Fetish

African art counts two types of Azande statues: The statues Kudu , with a height of between 30 and 50 cm represent ancestors, and statues Yanda 10 to 20 cm, of animal or human form, having an apotropaic role, exhibited during divinatory rites during the rituals of the society Mani .
Structure stylized, geometric, for this Yanda figure devoid of arms, carried by legs apart, semi-restended. Encrusted curies, a nasal ridge hatched with scarifications, wide earrings, make up a female face.
Patine clear mate.br-Formerly known as " Niam-Niam " because they are considered anthropophages, the tribes grouped under the name Zande , Azandé , settled, from Chad, on the border of the R.D.C. (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two ...

Chamba mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chamba mask

The Nam Gbalang or Lang Badna mask is a powerful symbol associated with the Vara cult dedicated to a protective genius.

It appears during the Kaa festival rites of passage and at high-grade funerals.
It is likened to the buffalo; it represents the wild spirit of the bush with all its powers and its dangerousness.
According to some, this mask represents a queen whose chamba line claims descent from the forest buffalo.
The rounded dome of the mask symbolically represents the idea of ​​death as it depicts a skull, a relic taken from the tomb of an elder.

The other characteristics are related to the wild world of nature, thus the mouth symbolizes the jaws of the crocodile, while the horns are those of the forest buffalo.
The Nam ...


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490.00

Dan Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan Mask

Embellished with a trim of bells, bagged talismans, thick braided headdress embroidered with cowries and mirrors, this impressive-looking African mask comes from the Dan Yacouba of the banks of the Cavally River, between Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia. Crusty patina.
The Dan populations of the north known as Yacouba of the Ivory Coast and the Maou of Touba (Maouka), and those of the northeast of Liberia, after having borrowed them from the neighboring Mandé people, use them in the secret masculine ceremonies of which the Koma of the Maou Guerze of Liberia call it Nyomu . When they are not accompanying a small orchestra at entertainment parties, the mask-singers perform at night, during traditional rites, in order to counteract evil spirits.


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Kwéré pin
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kwéré pin

Prestige pin with traditional doll motif.
Smooth light brown satin patina.
The Zaramo and the tribes around them designed dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In case the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child". Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated on the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts.


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120.00

Tabwa mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tabwa mask

Mask of modest proportions depicting a face with fine features, shared with linear scarifications crossing the forehead, the temples, and the cheeks. Circular ear flaps frame the face.
Honey brown patina, abrasions and desication cracks.
Height on base: 34 cm.

The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the region along Lake Tanganyika, between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or "being tied down" presumably refers to the system of slavery once practiced by Islamic merchants.
The Tabwa later regained their independence through the riches provided by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is perceptible in the societies and rites of the Tabwa, the Tanzanian tribes have also marked the Tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs.


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250.00

Statue Senoufo
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Senoufo

This feminine figure is surmounted by a lidded container, carved with a bird, symbol of divination. Speckled patina. Light wood on which remains greyish residues of oily coating. Many erosions. Mr. Brunel, a chemist by training, has crisscrossed Africa: Zaire, Kenya, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Guinea,... Until his death, he will have accumulated nearly 600 pieces. Piece entrusted by his legatees.
The Senoufos, the name given to them by French settlers, are mainly made up of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo . Each of them has its own association Poro which introduces young boys ...


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Attie figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Attie figure

This African statue of Attié is a classic representation of the queen, with a long ringed neck, arms raised, oversized hands with long fingers joining a headdress composed of three cylindrical buns. Verticality is a recurring element in Attié African sculpture. Smooth beige gray patina. The lagoon populations in eastern Côte d'Ivoire comprise mainly Attié, Akyé, Ebrié and Abouré. Their sculptures offer many similarities. These kingdoms had the first commercial establishments offering gold, ivory, slaves and pepper to the West. Their history is marked by their stormy relations with the Portuguese, Dutch and English colonists in this coastal region where a intense trade of gold and slaves. Among the Akan group, Attié, of Akye-Fo, "the holders of the blade", are divided between those of ...


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Statue Tschokwe
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Tschokwe

This effigy of dignitary presents a ceremonial hairstyle adapted to his rank, traditional scarifications and organs raised with red pigments. The role of this statue would be associated with the initiation ceremonies of the young girls. It would also embody the notions of fertility that distinguish between childhood and adult life. In the luvale , Lwena, zambia, also close neighbours of the Chokwe like the Lunda, these initiation periods ended with festive rites: ritual anointings of oil and red clay on the bodies, elaborate hairstyles and beaded adornments.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the empire Lunda from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never ...


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Oracle Luba
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Oracle Luba

African art collection put up for sale by Jan Putteneers.
This African cephalomorphic sculpture is a means of communication with ancestors, used by the soothsayer during divination rituals. Incorporating the category of objects nkisi, nkishi, it is supposed to be endowed with a secret power, receptacle of a spiritual energy. Luba , like their neighbors, use this type of object related to the divination kashekesheke named katatora and lubuko . According to François Neyt, the object was carved from wood ( kibekwasa ) with magical properties.
During the interview, the ring was caught by the soothsayer and his client, who dragged it on a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked (producing the sound "kashekeke", "extraction of the truth"). Considered feminine, the ...


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Bobo mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bobo mask

The African animal masks of Burkina Faso
. This imposing helmet mask embodies a large West African antelope, the antelope, with high ringed horns curved backwards. Grainy brown and black patina.
Mandinka people most of whom live in eastern Burkina Faso, but also in southern Mali, the culture of the Bobo Fing is similar to that of the Bambara. They are organized into lineages headed by councils of elders. In each village altars are erected under the authority of the blacksmiths, priests of the cult of Dwo, but the Bobo also venerate secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make masks out of fiber sheets which they will wear during ceremonies in order to establish a relationship with the spiritual world. The most important ...


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350.00





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