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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.

Mumuye Statue
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African art > African Statues > Mumuye Statue

Ex-collection French African Art South of the Benue River, in a difficult access area that isolated them until 1950, are established the Mumuye, which are organized into family groups called dola.

Their iagalagana statues were stored in one box, tsafi, reserved for this purpose, while another box, java, housed an individual with magical powers and surrounding himself with ritual objects related to his function and his prestige.The characteristics of the figures Mumuye embodying tutelary figures, which are often erroneously attributed to the neighboring Chamba, are recognizable thanks to the cylindrical body, to the space formed by the arrangement of the arms around the bust, with squat legs, and, in most cases, by the stylized cap This specimen is supported by a strongly ...


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Dogon Satimbé Mask
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African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

This African, facial mask, with a crest in the form of a female statue, is only part of the mask: for the Dogon, the whole mask consists not only of the wooden element to conceal the face of the dancer but also of the costume of accompanying fibers. Locally matte polychromy flaked
. The female figure at the top, Ya Sigine , whose arms are articulated, would embody the mythical ancestor who allegedly stole the masks from supernatural beings, making captive an old Albarga initiated to the secrets of masks. The woman initiated at the Ya Sigine is since then the only woman who can participate in dogon rituals and benefit from a masked funeral. More than eighty types of African masks are listed among the Dogon, the best known of which are the Kanaga , Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of ...


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Feathered headdress Bamileke "JuJu Hat"
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African art > Headdress Hat > Bamileke hat

The Sumptuous Bamileke headdresses in African tribal art.
This copy of prestigious African adornment, worn by the notables, unfolds in multicolored feathers. It was during the elephant dance, tso, that the members of the society Kuosi, Kwosi, wore these impressive headdresses. They were worn over a multicolored costume consisting of a large beaded mask with large circular ears, mbap mteng , a fabric fabric, ndop, adorned with monkey fur and a leopard belt. These dances took place during festive ceremonies and funerals. Hats were once made from parrot feathers, now wild guinea fowl, the rarity of which was high cost. The feathers are attached to fabric-covered wooden strips, placed around a circular frame bound by a basket of wicker fibres. A society originally composed of ...

Sceptre Oshe Shango Yoruba polychrome
African art > African Statues > Sceptre Yoruba

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Oshe , ritual sceptres Yoruba, appear during ceremonial dances. They are brandished in the left hand by the dancers. These sculptures refer, through the symbol that is the double axe headdress, the god of thunder and youth Shango , or Sango . The latter is the mythical ancestor of the kings of Oyo. Sango , nicknamed Baba Ibeji , legendary father of many twins, was also the protector. The occurrence of groaning was very common in the region. This follower of Sango, god of lightning and social justice, is wearing a flat pattern symbolizing a double axe evoking the stone axes that he is supposed to throw from the sky during storms. The deities of the rivers are also represented by stones and by the water of the rivers associated with them. This emblem signals the connection ...

Guro Mask, gouro
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African art > African mask > Gouro 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 creations. 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 the predominant ritual ...


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Lega introductory statuette
African art > African Statues > League figurines

Made of los or ivory or carved in wood, and deciphered by the initiated only through the context of their ritual use, the masks and statuettes of the Lega most often referred to proverbs and sayings: Small anthropomorphic figure female, with a hease volume, it is built on circular, crenellated legs, and has reduced arms whose structure echoes the lower limbs. The traditional scarifications rendered by the punctiform details, the neck seeming encased with a large crafted torque, the exorbitant appearance, and the golden yellow patina that oil anointings and use have helped to lacquer and luster, contribute to make this coin an object of exception prior to the regulations on the ivory trade. It was collected in 1948 by an ivory dealer and then acquired by Prof. Jan Putteneers and presented ...


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1980.00

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

This African tribal object, a box with two flaps, set on three feet, was probably designed to preserve active medicinal preparations prepared from the advice of elders who had been introduced to the science of trees or " jiridon ". The walls are carved with figures of mythical ancestors Nommos , geniuses associated with the creation of the world and guarantors of health and fertility and allegorical zoomorphic decorative motifs. These are supposed to activate the healing power of the active ingredients. 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 ...


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Masque facial Yoruba
African art > African mask > Yoruba Mask

Mask with a rounded pattern, broad luscious lips and stretched almond eyes pierced with a pupil. From the spherical skull, to the clear forehead, rises a frontal crest with a tip cut from parallel bands. Wealth and therefore prestige are reflected here, in African thought, through the treatment of the chin in bulging volumes suggesting the abundance of flesh. Underneath is a grooved collar. Locally chipped grainy skate.
The Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While men's society egbe reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. The gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables come together in a society called esusu. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu were born following the demise of the Ifé civilization and are still ...


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250.00

Horizontal Crest Ci Wara Bamana
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African art > African mask > Ci Wara Mask

The fifth initiation society Bambara , Bamana , is called tyiwara (here, cultivate, wara, fawn) and is still practiced today in some villages. These crest masks evoking the antelope, oryx or hippotrague dagé depending on the case, are available vertically and horizontally. Presenting themselves to the public in pairs, male and female, the wearers of the masks adopt a symbolic choreography in relation to agriculture. Belonging to the regional type Goso kun , emanating from the Bamako region, this horizontal crest is dotted with triangular incisions, intersecting lines and hatches evoking the animal's coat. Its tapered ears are punctured at regular intervals. The size of the stylized head contrasts with the rest of the body. Clear matte patina, abrasions and desication cracks.
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Dogon Mask
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African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

Marcel Griaule counted no less than 78 types of dogon masks during his field investigations. This piece, with stylized features, is characteristic of dogon creations. The latter, influenced by their predecessors in the Bandiagara region, the Tellem, have retained this verticality in their rooms. Parallel to Islam, dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, wagem, cult of ancestors under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the spirit world, and the Awa mask society. about the funeral. The " dama " is a ceremony dedicated to restoring the order of things following mourning.
A board with notched contours, on which breasts are superimposed, overcomes a face with a soaring nose. The end of the board The surface is sculpted ...


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Masque Mama Mangam Kantana
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African art > African mask > Masque Mama


This type of crest mask forms a hybrid composition by combining zoomorphic elements such as a beak and forward curved horns. Circular shapes are used for crushed nose nostrils, bleached pupils and large cupy ears. The masks of the ceremonies mangam of Mamas, whose buffalo masks are better known, are used within the ethnic group by members of a male association charged with maintaining social order and increasing or promoting agricultural production. Crusty patina in pink reds. Restoration at the base of the summit horns.
This mask whose horns symbolize fertility is therefore danced during the holidays in relation to agricultural fertility and sometimes human fertility.
Mama buffalo masks are kept in the sacred wood and brought back to the village to accompany the ...


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Statue Yoruba
African art > African Statues > Statue Yoruba

The Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While men's society egbe reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. The gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables come together in a society called esusu . The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu were born following the demise of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the Yoruba political structure. The Oyo created two cults centered on the societies Egungun and Sango, who venerate their gods, the Orisa, through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, sceptres and divination supports.

This statue would embody a deified ancestor. Represented sitting, he adopts the posture of the leader. Its appearance offers the characteristic features of traditional Yoruba effigies. ...


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450.00

Mossi Bwa Mask
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African art > African mask > Bwa Mask

Mossi African art, decorative object.
A flat, circular facial mask, it is decorated with symbolic motifs in the form of diamonds arranged in successive friezes, and features a matte polychromy, royal blue, white kaolin and grey-brown. The mouth in which teeth are represented is hollowed out. Abrasions of pigments.
The African art sculptures of Bobo , Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. It is the spirits of nature that are supposed to determine the well-being and prosperity of an individual, and adversity will be seen as the result of neglect scars of collective rites. It is therefore during various celebrations that the mask will personify a spirit of nature or that of ...


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Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
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African art > African Textile > Textile Cuba

Produced in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real paintings of tribal art, consist of a raffia textile base on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by the 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 Kuba to the art of forging. It was the men ...


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Statuette Ewe Venovi
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African art > African Statues > Twin Venavi

A Togolese version of Nigeria's Ibedji Yoruba, the statuette carved from light wood features rounded volumes and an ovoid face with protruding eyes. The sculptor's talent is revealed here by the realistic appearance of a child in spite of woman's breasts. A desication crack divides the bust, the feet are missing. Honey glossy patina.Ex. collection of the painter 'a target''blank' href''http://wiki.ibb.town/Karl-Heinz-Engstfeld' Karl Heinz Engstfeld and Ruth Engstfeld-Schremper, a greal artist.
The Ewe consider the birth of twins called Venavi (or Venovi) as a happy omen. They must be treated equally and fairly. For example, both will be fed and washed at the same time and will wear the same clothes until puberty.
If one of the twins dies, the parents obtain a statuette to ...


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Fertility doll Akua ba Ghana
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African art > African Statues > Doll

These 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 Ashanti founded a monarchy as early as the 17th century. The identities of the various ethnic groups Akan were influenced by both Islam and Christianity.

Their dolls Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) are easily identifiable by their characteristic shape. They consist of a flat circular head, the majority of which is reserved for the forehead, the facies themselves occupying only the lower third of the head.
This last one is carried by a small cylindrical body whose arms develop at a right angle. The ...

Kuba Drinking Horn
African art > Usual african items > Coupe Cuba

Prestigious cuts in African art kuba
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestigious objects created for members of the high ranks of their society. The Leus live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs.
Bringing various patterns carved in reliefs and faces dug into the surface of the wood, this cup of palm wine was intended for kuba warriors. The cord was used to attach them to the waist. The wine was extracted twice a day from raffia palms planted for this purpose, and sold by cup. Various forms of cups were carved, the adornment of which sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Satin dark patina. Height on base: 28 cm.


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250.00

Religious cup Akan
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African art > Usual african items > Religious cup Akan

The Akan were a rich tribe in Ghana, and the Portuguese discovered this ethnic group at the end of the 15th century and quickly settled in the coastal region to develop the gold and slave trade. In three main themes: statues, jewels and furniture, this is a figurative ritual cut: an animal, obviously a horse, carries on its back and neck two bowls decorated with brass nails. Sitting on the back of the horse, he holds the widest cut with the tips of his arms, and wears a striated headdress to the rear, like the second character on the left of the animal.


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Fetish statue Nkondi Nkisi
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African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Fetishes of power in African art Kongo
Among the Kongo, the nganga se charged rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkisi (pl. minkisi). The term nkisi ft then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin".
The most influential category of U.S.minkisi kongo" consisted of instruments to help regional leaders enforce the law. A metal object was nailed to a wooden figure as soon as a decision was made, each nail evoking a particular case: litigants, divorce, conflicts between communities...
The nkondi wanted to ensure that the agreement to settle the conflict was properly implemented, and that individuals feared the consequences of their behaviour. His appearance thus personified the resident strength.


Juché on a discoid base, a figure with ...


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Ganda Container
African art > African Jar > Ganda milk pot

Decorated with a frieze of parallel grooves and diamonds, this ancient container from East Africa was designed by a nomadic people. The latter was particularly decimated by the Islamic slave trade and by recurrent infighting. Population groups called "Bantous interlacustres", located between Lake Victoria and the Limpopo River, include the Ganda , Nyoro, Nkole, Soga, Toro, Hima, and the Tutsi of Rwanda and Burundi. Their cultures have similarities, as do their artistic production and their everyday objects.
Apart from the prestigious vases created by the potter in the service of the king, named kujona , The Ganda of Uganda also produce containers for everyday use, such as this object patinated by use and equipped with a woven lid. Desication crack.


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380.00

Benin dignitary figure in bronze
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African art > African Statues > Benin Statue

Represented perched on a circular pedestal, this warrior-like figure features prestigious insignia, such as the ceremonial sword of the Benin monarchs, the Eben, and a scepter. Long mats hang from the royal headdress. Pink-brown patina, grey-green inlays.
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 contact with his spirit. (Source: "Benin", Armand Duchâteau)
The benign bronzes are arguably among the most famous of Black ...





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