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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.

Zulu Fertility Statue Doll
African art > African Dolls > Statue Zulu

Distinguished by its unusual proportions and weight, this Zulu fetish "doll is more like a mediating statue. The blind head is gracefully styled with beaded necklaces with a glass paste pompom evoking the sommital bun hairstyle worn by Zulu women around 1930 (photo taken from the book "Isn't she a doll? Cameron) . A draped scholar composed of an abundance of white pearl necklaces, extended with bouquets of cauris, shape the shoulders and hips of the fetish. A metal corset, bounded by wide skin belts with leather braids and cotton ties, encloses the bust with beads, coins and a copper bell. Leather straps, also equipped with 1910-long British beaded buckles and pennies, form graceful, light arms. Under the net scarf of vegetable fibres enveloping the neck, there is a patinated wax impasto ...


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2200.00

Senoufo loom
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African art > Usual african items > Senufo Pulley

In Côte d'Ivoire, sculptures intended for everyday use, and apparently the most ordinary, had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of sculptors. These objects were not intended for ritual use, so the choice of subjects remained varied. This cephalomorphic pulley retained wire on the coil. The surface of the object, soft and lustrous, is finely lined. Dark brown satin patina, ocuse residue. Wire remains on the reel.
Mainly farmers, the Senoufo group lives in a savannah region that covers southern Mali and Burkina Faso, and northern Côte d'Ivoire. They include about 50 sub-ethnic groups. They speak a Voltaic language Gur, Gour, like the Lobi and the Koulango.


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Couple of large shoulder masks Baga Nimba
African art > African mask > Baga Masks

Cut from light wood, these shoulder masks emanating from the Northern Baga and also used by the Nalu have a voluminous head with a buzzed nose evoking a bird's beak surmounting a tubular mouth, a long summit ridge, and wide horseshoe ears. A metal clipping, hidden by the grainy matte patina, highlights the eyes and face on which also emerge chevron stripes evoking traditional scarifications. These masks would embody an idealized baga woman, i.e. principles of fertility and abundance of harvests and occur during harvests, marriages or deaths.
Ex. Belgian collection Mercier.Granular surface, abrasions and desisication.
Mixed with Nalu and Landuman , Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in flooded swamp regions six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, ...


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Yaka Nkoku Ngoombu Slit Drum
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African art > Djembe TamTam > Yaka Drum

The Yaka surround each other in everyday life with charms embellished with carved cephalomorphic figures, such as this Yaka slit drum, mukoku ngombu, nkoku ngombu, intended for divination rituals. The head, which would appear the mediating soothsayer with a high cap, has widely surrounded coffee bean eyes and then highlighted with a "masque" extending to the ears peeled off. The mouth offers hemmed lips and the nose the drawing of large nostrils. The neck is embellished with a necklace of pearls, shards of pink mother-of-pearl and small shells.
Beautiful patina, blackish residual inlays.
With the Yaka, at the new moon, the soothsayer ngaanga ngoombu covers his face with kaolin before issuing an oracle. During its daytime passage into the basement, the moon is coated with ...


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Mossi Mask
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

It is in the northern centre of the Mossi country that this type of convex African masks, with a prominent central ridge, are carved. This abstract head copy, with a zoomorphic character, is distinguished by hollowed-out orifices in triangles on either side of a beak-like relief. This joins the summit horns dug with triangular motifs. Ancient locally abraded poychromy.
Ex. collection of the painter 'a href'"http://wiki.ibb.town/Karl-Heinz-Engstfeld"' Karl Heinz Engstfeld et 'a href'U'0022https://evibb.de/home/wir-trauern-um-ruth -engst Engstfeld-Schremper , glazier artist.
Mossi masks, personal masks or lignagers, are an embodiment of guardian spirits offering their support. They perform at funerals, at the funerals of clan leaders, protect the crops. Genuine altars ...


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280.00

Statue Ambete, Mbete
African art > African Statues > Statue Ambete

The variety of reliquaries in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete
The cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these statues whose dorsal cavity plays the role of reliquary. However, this copy is devoid of it. The flat face has a characteristic appearance, with cauris evoking narrow, half-closed eyelids, a hollowed-out mouth in which sticks sometimes appear on the teeth, giving a grimacing appearance. The hairstyle is arranged in braids gathered in crest. Attached to the swollen bust, the arms are folded at a right angle. The flexing of the muscular legs heralds a ritual dance. Geometric patterns are carved on the forehead and abdomen.
Patine mate.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighboring obamba, whose history ...


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380.00

Dugn be Bidjogo Mask
African art > African mask > Bidjogo Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
This zoomorphic African mask with real horns comes from the 'a href'U'0022https://africa.uima.uiowa.edu/peoples/show/bidyogo"' Bidjogo , established in the Bissagos Archipelago of about thirty islands off the coast Guinea-Bissau. On this massive piece depicting a gaping-mouthed bovine head, the noes are adorned with a metal buckle with a rope. A rope is also intertwined at the base of the horns. White pigments highlight certain organs. Cracked wood, matte patina.
The mask is worn before or at the end of the initiation ceremonies, by a young initiate " cabaro ", who will bend and pitch up, conveying the idea of a vigorous but still untamed young animal, and the need to go through the process to acquire discipline and mastery.  These ...


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450.00

Punu Mask
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African art > African mask > Punu Mask

This piece illustrates one of the many headdresses of the white masks of Gabon, itengi , (pl. bitengi). These African masks from Gabon were associated with Gabon's various secret societies, including the Bwiti , Bwete , and the Mwiri ("le"), the latter spanning several levels of initiation, to which belonged to all the Punu men, and whose emblem was the caiman. The punu did not involve any masks in the rituals of the Bwiti, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi, and the dance of the Okuyi, on stilts, remaining the most widespread. This kaolin-bleached face mask, evoking a deceased woman, was displayed at the dance called Okuyi . Classically styled with ...


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Chokwe ancestor figure, Lunda
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African art > African Statues > 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 ...

Bronze Lobi
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > Lobi Statues

African art among the Lobi.
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped under the name " lobi ", make up one-fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. Few in Ghana, they have also settled in northern Côte d'Ivoire. It was at the end of the 18th century that the Lobi, from North Ghana, settled among the indigenous Thuna and Puguli, the Dagara, the Dian, the Gan and the Birifor. The Lobi believe in a creator God named Thangba Thu , to whom they address through the worship of many intermediate spirits, the Thil , the latter being supposed to protect them, with the help of the soothsayer, against a host of plagues. Bush geniuses, red-haired beings called Kontuor , are also expected to help them. To communicate with men, the different Thils demand sculptures of bateba in ...


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Chief Figure Chokwe
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African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe

This monoxyle piece depicts a chef welcoming visitors as required by royal protocol: by clapping his hands as a welcome. This gesture is also a mark of assent. The statue was carved in the style of the School of Moxico". Human hair makes up his beard.
The character also plays the mythical hero, founder of the Chokwé ethnic group. Easily recognizable by his ample headdress with curved side wings ( cipenya-mutwe ), he had taught his people the art of hunting. The chiefs had a major function in the propitiation rites intended for the hunting and fertility of women, the objects being adorned with this figure thus, presumably, a protective function.

The repatry application of castor oil and dyes vegetable decoctions has endowed the sculpture with a black brown patina with ...


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Maternity Pfemba Kongo Yombé
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African art > African Maternity > Yombe Phemba Maternity

Ex-Belgian African art collection.

The Yombe are a subgroup of the Kongo ethnic group. In their statuary, kongo stylistic canons such as eyes encrusted with pieces of glass or mirror give life to the object in addition to the overall realism of the strokes and proportions.
Fertility and progeny, central themes of African cultures, are addressed through this motherhood or phemba. The mother sits and holds a child in her arms.
The patina is smooth and gives in mahogany tones. The mother is awe-down with sculpted necklaces and bracelets. The headdress is engraved with fine geometric patterns.

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 ...

Fetish statuette Kongo Nkisi
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African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Characteristic of the African art of the Solongo of Angola, tribe of the Kongo group, this tribal sculpture, male effigy, is camped in a decided attitude, in order to master the forces that the character wants to face. The elements bilongo that exacerbate the power of the fetish, consist of metal inserts, a horn that contained a magic charge, beads, cotton cords and leather. The voluminous hairstyle, placed high on the skull and giving off a shaved forehead, consists of a bouquet of feathers that are held by cords encased with a crusty-looking resinous aggregate.
With the Kongo, the nganga took on the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most influential category of " ...

Attie figure
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > 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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Tanzania mask
African art > African mask > Tanzania mask

This mask with a handle, revealing the irregular surface of the bark in which it was carved, comes from an indeterminate Tanzanian tribe. Horizontal pupils, in drop, are drawn in oblong arches, and a broad toothed smile has been arranged in the lower part. Contrasting coatings complete the animate of the facies. A canvas drapes the top, composing a headdress accessorized with side mats, rolling and leather straps, and highlighted with a trim of manufactured buttons. A raffia pompom punctuates the summit, marking with a final note and whimsical the strange appearance.
In the southern region of Tanzania's coastline, around Dar-es-Salam, a relatively homogeneous group produced most of the artistic productions. It includes Swahili, Kaguru, Doé, Kwéré, Luguru, Zaramo, Kami. The second ...


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450.00

Masque Kumu, Komo
African art > African mask > Komo Mask

The Kumu live mainly in the Northeast and central Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is the komo or kikomo. Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, the Yela, the Lengola, and the Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of initiation and circumcision of the young people of the society nkunda, accompanied by consumption of hallucinogenic plants causing trance.
This mask associated with the initiation ceremonies, from the Komo groups in the southern Uituri forest, close to the Lega, has a relatively shallow, oval structure, in which the almond eyes and mouth revealing teeth are largely hollowed ...


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200.00

Mende Bundu Sowei Mask
African art > African mask > Mende Mask

The sowei are an idealized representation of female beauty seen through the Mende culture.They embody aquatic spirits. Displaying horizontal scarifications inscribed under the wide, lowered eyelids, this African Mende mask is a copy of the type of masks named bundu the most important among Mendé. It has a bulging forehead occupying the upper half of the face, the features concentrating in the lower half. The folds of the neck evoke an abundance of flesh symbolizing prosperity. The bun headdress consists of fine braids picked up in vertical buns. Painted black or tinted with a leaf brush, the mask also has a crusty patina.
Mende, Vaï and Gola cultures, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the west coast of Guinea, are known in African art for the hexagonal masks and in particular those of the ...


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380.00

Dogon Pharmacopoeia Box
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African art > Usual african items > Dogon Box

Vertically, with two moving shutters that are held by metal staples, this sculpture was designed to preserve active medicinal preparations prepared from the advice of elders who had been introduced to the science of trees. or U.0022jiridon". On its walls were carved motifs relating to the rich cosmogony of the Dogon and reinforcing the healing power of the medicines concerned: kanaga masks, figures hiding their eyes, and mythical saurian. With three feet and a four-faced head at the top, the ensemble also evokes the Nommos, geniuses associated with the creation of the world and capable of bringing health and longevity. Light brown matte wood.
The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls ...


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Favorite statue Songye Nkisi
African art > African Statues > Statue Nkondi

African statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) feminine Songye, it features a massive head offering geometric features. The arms are positioned around a protruding abdomen.  The peculiarity of these fascinating tribal figures most often lies in the angular treatment of the form, the imposing triangular face that here takes up the appearance of the African mask kifwebe, the rictus formed by the mouth, and the attitude deported forward of the bulging belly. In this case the magic charge bishimba is studded by a fragment of red textile.
Brown patina, peeled.
These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between God and humans, charged with protecting against different evils. Large copies are the collective property of an ...


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250.00

Statue of Nkondi Nkisi Congo
African art > African fetish > Kongo Fetish

The nganga , sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through figures, mostly consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi. These tribal statues have a magical charge usually housed on the abdomen behind a mirror closing the cavity. This copy, embodying a powerful figure, wearing the leader's headdress, adopts a posture that demonstrates determination. A miniature couple, in an offensive attitude, is strangely supported by one leg, the second being folded. The figure lying on the ground symbolizes the subsubjecting of evil powers. Around the neck and hips of the effigy, different "gris-gris", metal, vegetable fibers, dried seeds, various textiles, bells and cords.
With the Kongo, the nganga took on ...


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490.00

Masque Dan Buglé
African art > African mask > Masque Dan

Despite the round eyes encircled with a red cloth, evoking the zapkei masks and the -taround entertainment masks, this bugled mask stands out thanks to the row of horns on the forehead. Sometimes accessorized with a feather headdress, it is here equipped with a beard of vegetable fibers on which are attached bells whose tinkling aroused the ardour of the warriors before hunting or war. (Black African Tribal Art, Bacquart, p.36) Abrasions. Very light residue of kaolin. Crusty agglomerates at the top. Renowned in African art, the Yacouba, also known as Dan, are known for their traditional masks and dances, sacred or secular. Their masks, of varied design, usually occur during highly theatrical entertainment parties where women play a leading role. The so-called Mask, called Deanglé, ...


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380.00





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