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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.

Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
objet vendu
African art > African Textile > Kuba fabric

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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Masque Dan
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African art > African mask > Masque Dan

Successive tiaras highlight the oval face of this Dan mask, whose eyelids and nose are plated with metal whose brilliance contrasts with the dark patina. Topping fabric balls, cauris, leather bags and raffia canvas combine to compose a collar and a sophisticated headdress that ends in height in a feather top. The lipped lips respond to the radiance of the metal.
Reputed 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, defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is carved in honour of the village's young girls or renowned men. Also used during ...


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Namchi Ritual Hat, Namji
African art > Headdress Hat > Namchi Headdress

Belgian African art collection.
At the top of this conical basket headdress accompanying the initiation rituals, set on a thick raphia canvas, appears an image, in the eyes of the Namji of Cameroon, of fertility and fertility: a stylized female effigy whose limbs in rectangular volume have digitized hands and feet with different shells. The doll, whose bust is dressed in leather, is awe-down with bracelets and necklaces of glass beads. A proportionally reduced head, with pupils encrusted with white beads, has a suspension ring. Abraded-use skate. It is only recently that the dolls of the Namji or Dowayo , an animist mountain people living in northern Cameroon, have only recently been known. These effigies represent the human body in stylized elementary forms. These African tribal ...


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550.00

Primitive currency Idoma
African art > African Currencies > Paléomonnaie

This primitive African currency takes the form of a flared blade under which volute arms emerge. The surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The lower base, at the tip, could be recorded in the ground. 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 exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, and these sometimes take on the ...


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180.00

Masque Bamana Lion
African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

Large zoomorphic mask with a jaw articulated by rubber ties. Mate patina, dry, locally cracked revealing an old vivid paint. Abrasions, cracks and misses.
Establishes in central and southern Mali, in a savannah area, the Bambara ," Bamana " or " unbelievers ", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the great Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Mainly farmers, but also herders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali. In addition to their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of various size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the puppet theatre Sogow bo which is organized on the initiative of the young people of the villages, mainly in the Ségou region, and which plays an educational role. Multicolored geometric ...


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380.00

Baoulé / Yahoure Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

An entertainment mask that can be seen by women, this sculpture is painted in a bright red raised with black for features and scarifications. The headdress is made up of four braided shells. Slight abrasions of the patina.
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 themselves 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 are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc. Also called Gbagba , they personify graceful young girls or men whose valour or integrity qualities are reputed. ...


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Female figure Nyamézi
African art > African Statues > Statue Nyamézi

This female figure sculpted in a very dense wood and with a thin silhouette offers a head in which hollowed eyes were usually encrusted with white beads. The size of the ears contrasts with a discreet appearance. This type of statues, among the wide variety of tribal production of this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional Seeker activities. Dark matte, oiled skate. Lacks at the ends of the breast and feet, cracks.
The Nyamwezi are made up of tribes of various origins that make up the largest group in central Tanzania, but share the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their territory Unyamwézi . They were therefore brought to travel from Congo (R.D.C.) coastal towns in ...


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480.00

Lele / Ngeendé hem mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Cuba

Sharing with the sophisticated Moshambwooy mask of the Kuba the same voluminous canvas trim on which were attached cauris and thousands of beads, this mask offers a flat wooden face with a half-closed look whose palpebral slits have been hollowed out. This type of mask was used at annual foundation ceremonies. The white color refers to mourning, while blue is associated with royalty.
The Lel, neighbours of the Tschokwe and Pende, live to the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoongs of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their company, led by a king u-0022 nymi ", comprises three classes, that of the Tundu or warlords, the Batshwa (", those who reject the Tundu" authority) and the Wongo ...


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Zande figurines, Azande
African art > African Statues > Statue Zandé

An anthropomorphic Figure Zande with a triangular face sheltered under a spherical helmet headdress. The profile is marked by a straight nasal ridge emerging under the visor. The arms emerging in the back are huddled close to the body, hands clasped under the chin. They reveal a bust whose bulge widens to short bent legs. Punctures on the ear.
An interesting, dark, matte patina, cracked, lets perceive red pigments under-yellowing. Lack slack at one of the feet.
Formerly referred to 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 Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms upon his ...


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350.00

Tabwa fetish statuette
African art > African Statues > Statue Tabwa

The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the Lake Tanganyika region between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or " being attached" presumably refers to the system of slavery practiced in the past by Islamic merchants.
The Tabwa then regained their independence thanks to the wealth provided by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is noticeable in the societies and rites of the Tabwa, the Tanzanian tribes have also marked the tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs.
This fetish devoid of scarifications has a crest continuing in a long braid sits up to the lower back. The character stands, supported by massive feet. The flat hands draw attention to the abdomen, evoking the importance of lineage, transmission, and seat of knowledge.
Herminette strokes left ...


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180.00

Kru/Grebo loom pulley
African art > Usual african items > Kru Chicken

In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, finery, utensils, fabrics, are pretext set set set set set set shall be used by craftsmen and sculptors.  The latter, mainly farmers, carry out this activity in addition. Some of them also produce pieces for neighbouring ethnic groups. The creative talent, however, remains linked to the occult power of the craftsman, the ritual demands surrounding woodworking. This pulley is decorated with the Kru / Grebo mask with tubular eyes in miniature. 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 reclusive in a box, the takae . Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of origin oubi , and ...


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100.00

Leader Chokwe s effigy
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Leader Chokwe's effigy

This tribal sculpture glorifies the spiritual and physical power, qualities of the hunter, by the representation of the founding hero of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga.

He sits naked on a pachyderm.In fact, before colonization, the chief perceived the half of Elephant tusks hunted on its territory.It is surrounded by his subjects, hamba auxiliary spirits or descendants.The character, with oversized palms and feet, wears an impressive headdress, a removable, club-shaped, comes insert it into the back of his head.This would be a pestle for grinding tobacco, smoke being an integral part of offerings to ajimu spirits.A smooth, brown and shiny patina, formerly due to the repeated application of castor oil and vegetable coloring concoctions, covers all of this piece of African ...


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Female figure Agni
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Agni

The work of a sculptor of the Agni ethnic group, a subgroup of the rich and famous Akan people present in Côte d'Ivoire and southern Ghana, this African statue with numerous tegumentary ornaments is depicted sitting on a stool akan . The remarkable work of the carefully coiffed head, the subtle modeling of the features, give a meditative character to the character. The imposing volume of the bust, with breasts sagging by age and motherhood, also distinguishes this rare piece. In contrast, the undersized legs rest, apart, on a base at the edge of the ribbed. A textile loincloth decorates the statue. This statue used by the fetishist provided communication with the spirits of ancestors and geniuses established in the supernatural world and belonged to the female Comians members of secret ...


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Statue of Nkondi Congo
African art > African Statues > Nkondi 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 primitive statues have a magical charge usually housed on the abdomen. Here, the cavity is blocked by a cauri indicating the umbilical. The figure has feet anchored on high headlands. Red ochre patina.
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 "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 ...


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450.00

Shango Scepter
African art > _1 > Shango Scepter

The Yoruba Oshe are used in ritual dances, which are worn in the left hand by the dancers. They represent, through their double-axis headdress, the god of thunder and youth Shango, or Sango. The latter is the mythical ancestor of the kings of Oyo, Sango was also the protector of the twins, whose occurrence was very common in the region. It is a deity fearing for its unpredictability. It is venerated because it brings to the cultures beneficial rains. It is also to him that the fertility of women is attributed. The handle of the scepter is surmounted of a rectangular base on which a personage dressed of only one loincloth is kneeling, presenting a pharmacopoeia box carrying the ethnic scarification, it is also wearing a large hairstyle rejected back, an adze, its appearance shows the style ...


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180.00

Timba Baga Drum
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Baga Drum

The Baga live along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea in West Africa. They are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, and have lived relatively isolated from their neighbours because of the vast swamps that surround them. They have, however, left a vast artistic legacy, which includes crests, figurative sculptures, masks, and everyday objects such as musical instruments.
This drum named timba, and matimbo in neighbouring groups, was played during the initiation ceremonies of the members of the association A-Tekan , on the occasion of the funeral of its members or for the wedding of their daughters . It is by its size that this drum differs from the other drums used in the A-Tekan, which requires its user to stand to play the instrument. He also intervened during ...


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Ceremonial Headdress Bamileke "JuJu Hat"
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 on the occasion of the elephant dance, tso, that the members of the Kuosi society, 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 ...

Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
objet vendu
African art > African Textile > Kuba Velvet

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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Large Bamileke table stool
objet vendu
African art > African Chair > Bamoun Table

Ex-collection French tribal art.
African Art and Bamileke
Ad ceremonies 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 elephant , the leopard, or the buffalo. A religious leader, he is also a judge and a warlord. His position, however, included many obligations that he had to fulfil in order not to be put to death. The Afo Akom , seat - totem of induction carved from the advent of the king , is to this day ...


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Metoko Kakungu Mask
African art > African mask > Metoko Mask

Tubular eyelids give an exorbitant look to this African Metoko mask, Mituku, with a handle to hold it in front of the face. It was usually exhibited at funerals. The network of parallel lines, associated with tribal scarfications, reveal the status of the character embodied in the mask, a worthy old man who has been a victim of witchcraft, kakungu. The furrows are encrusted with residues of white kaolin pigments, in contrast to the dark brown, sainpatina patina covering the lower part of the mask. Room in good general condition.
The Mbole, Yela, Lengola and Metoko ethnic groups, whose iniatic societies include simlarity, live on the left bank of the Zaire River, the Lualaba region of ancient Katanga. The plastic works of these groups also have similarities. Their company, Butoka ...


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480.00

Bembé Echawokaba hem mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Bembé Mask

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. Growths, on which were attached feathers, evoke small ears or horns. Its 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 with the same concave orbits also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami . Dry, ...


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