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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.

Punu / Lumbu Mask
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African art > African mask > Punu Mask

This African mask is one of the stylistic variants of Gabon's white masks, itengi , (pl. bitengi) with a subtle-shaped face. In early art, this tribal mask from Gabon was associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti , Bwete , and the Mwiri ("le"), the latter spreading into 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. Within this group, the Lumbu, Loumbu, Balumbu, located on the coastal part of Gabon ...


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Bwa Mask, Mossi ethnic group
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African art > African mask > Bwa Mask

Symbolic geometric patterns arranged in circular friezes are engraved on this flat, circular African mask. It features a matte polychromy, burgundy red, white kaolin and indigo, powdery grainy texture. The mouth in which teeth are represented is hollowed out to allow the dancer's vision. Minimal cracks. Light abrasions. The African art sculptures of the 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 an ...

Bembé Mask
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African art > African mask > Bembé Mask

Carved from soft wood, this ovoid-shaped mask, with a cruciform motif, is punctuated by numerous openings as eyes, the tip of a nose barely put on is also highlighted with nasal perforations. The thick mouth is formed by a single relief lip in the shape of a pout. The raw, light wood is imbued with dark inlays and signs of use.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that is said to have left Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by their neighbouring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for the initiation and structuring for society but while the bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe.
In the ...


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Lega crest mask
African art > African mask > Masque League

Clean geometry of primitive Lega
Masks This mask comes in the form of stylized faces, which their nasal ridge divides, and topped with a block of miniature faces directed towards the four cardinal points. This sculpture indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which were joined by the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Various surface gaps and abrasions. Xylophages eradicated.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. ...


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350.00

Sao sokoto horse rider
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African art > African Rider > Sao horse rider

Ex-collection French African art.
Used as an amulet credited with apotropaic virtues, this small bronze sculpture is, for the Sao, a talisman supposed to protect them from madness. It is therefore permanently worn. The genius who possessed the fool is represented by the rider, the horse depicting the victim. This horseman with a high horse rides an equine which was a rare attribute of prestige in these regions of the Sahel. Accompanied by a base in plexi. Copper gilded patina. The Sao, ancestors of the Kotoko, were established between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area stretching over the borders between Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria. They settled on hills, which allowed them to repel the invaders. Since the twelfth century, this African ethnic group, which ...


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Bamoun beaded mask
African art > African mask > Bamoun Mask

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 elephant , the leopard, or the buffalo. A religious leader, he is also a judge and a warlord.
Great eyes, puffy cheeks of the blower, broad, stunned nose and mouth with protruding lips revealing a beautiful dental alignment, protruding ears, this mask is covered with hundreds of multicolored beads that follow the underlying shapes covered with rabane. The royal ...


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250.00

Yacouba Dan Mask
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African art > African mask > Yacouba Dan Mask

From the Ex private collection of African art, Pascal Roland (Belgium).

Known in the African art, the Yacouba are famous for their masks and their traditional dances whether they are sacred or profane. The face is made up of various kinds of reliefs. Thus the forehead is rounded while the eyes are curved. The googly white eyes are encircled in red. The hair is made of an impressive braided rope. The nose is quite sharp when the lips are full and seems to reveal the upper teeth. The back of the mask is black.


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Box  Igbo reliquary
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African art > African Reliquary > Box Igbo reliquary

Anthropomorphous reliquary box,

it is adorned with carved elements in high relief. On the top, a head is wearing a European hat, accentuating the solemnity of the deity represented.His forehead also bears the deep scarifications of ethnicity, and his mouth aggressively reveals sharp teeth.His body is the formwork of the reliquary, which closes a consolidated door of a rope of natural fibers. Refinements of palm oil and pigments are still visible in the receptacle reliquary Beautiful two-tone crust patina Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria, combining a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group and a complex political system. The village is the most important social unit, the smallest is the extended family, each village ...


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Figure of rider Yoruba Sango
African art > African Statues > Cavalier Yoruba

It is in a sculpted figure, intended to appear on a Yoruba altar, that a divinized ancestor is embodied here. Unless it is one of the many gods orisa, comparable to the Christian saints, who animate the pantheon of Yoruba. Equid, rare in the region, was also an attribute of prestige reserved for the nobility and rulers.
This sculpture has certain elements and constant characteristics such as a mount of different proportions than those of the rider. The horse perched on a pedestal has a small size. The character with typical Yoruba facies has three incisions on each cheek, eyes set with pearls. One character is perched in the front on the saddle, a second on the back of the central figure. Polychrome crusty skate and kaolin use. Cracks.
The Yoruba, more than 20 million, ...


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490.00

Yorouba Tabouret
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African art > African Chair > Yoruba Tabouret

The use of the term Yorouba , derived from a Hausa word that referred to the yorouba of the northern kingdom of Oyo, dates from the mid-19th century, when it was popularized by missionaries. The history of the Yorouba was written mainly in favour of the kingdom of Oyo, which extended its hegemony over much of the region in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Yorouba language is not homogeneous throughout the territory: it consists of dialects that form three main families. 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 ...


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Luba cutting carrier
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African art > African Statues > Luba cutting

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
This female effigy of an ancestor, "receptacle of a deceased ruler" (Luba, Roberts) supports a circular cup "Mboko" associated with the rituals of divination. The protruding scarifications in ears converging towards the umbilicus, "center of the world" associated with the lineage, the parallel scarifications of the lower abdomen, the umbilical protrusion, bear witness to notions of fecundity. Like the leopard, the elephant symbolizes a genius in which the royal ancestors Luba would have incarnated.
When the spirit of divination takes possession of the medium, the Lubas say that "he rides the head" in the same way as a rider rides his horse. According to P.Nooter these figures would also honor the wife of the soothsayer, reinforcing his ...


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Rooster Okpa Benin Bini Edo
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African art > African bronze > Rooster Okpa Benin Bini Edo

The rooster is a totemic animal in the benign culture.

The benign bronzes are probably among the most famous of the tribal art of Black Africa. In fact, they have been in large quantities monopolized by Western museums, especially since the beginning of the twentieth century. This period is not insignificant because at that time, the British government put under pressure oba, king of the ethnic group, for economic reasons. In this context and following the assassination of a young British consul and his delegation, a punitive expedition led by the Royal Naval admiral, Sir Harry Rawson, pillaged, massacred and burned down the city. Benign. The royal treasury of the Oba, consisting of about 2500 pieces, was repatriated to Europe and disseminated


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Aduma Mask
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African art > African mask > Aduma Mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
An unusual African mask, linked to the cult of ancestors. An interesting geometric face, many indigenous restorations that have fortified the state of the room. The punctures visible on the chin assume the presence of old raffia fibers.
The Adouma are an ethnic group from Gabon, Central Africa. The Adouma, \


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Masque Kuba/ Biombo
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African art > African mask > Masque Kuba

The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong who are still ruled by a king today. It is the most prolific group in Western Kasai. In the south of the Kuba country, at the confluence of the Kasai and Lulua rivers, live the Biombo , whose traditional masked ceremonies have similarities to those of their neighbors. More than twenty types of tribal masks are used in the Kuba or " lightning people", with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies remained an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks to honour the spirit of the deceased or to honour the king. Most of these masks embody the spirits of nature, guarantors of fertility and fertility, named the ngesh .
Housed in deep arches in the heart delimiting the prominent ...


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Big Yaouré/Yohouré Mask
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African art > African mask > Big Yaouré/Yohouré Mask

Ex-collection French African art.

Under a braided headdress arranged in high oblong crest, the refined modeling of the head is reminiscent of the sculpture Gouro. The smooth face is painted in red burgundy.Designed patterns, evoking scarifications. The lower half of the mask is accompanied by a beard composed of a succession of triangular motifs whitened with kaolin. The Yohouré are a subgroup of the Akan tribe present in Côte d'Ivoire, on the shores of Lake Kossou, and in Ghana Geographically close to the Baoulés and Gouros. The Yahouré are at the source of Baoulé art. The masks of African Yaouré art are divided into two groups, sometimes with the addition of colored pigments, and the lo, usually with a dark patina, which intervene during funeral ceremonies or any other ...


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Dan / Krou loom pulley
African art > Usual african items > Etrier Baule

Everyday aesthetics for African art in Côte d'Ivoire.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of sculptors. For the Dan of Côte d'Ivoire, also called Yacouba, two distinct universes are opposed: that of the village, composed of its inhabitants, its animals, and that of the forest, its vegetation and the animals and spirits that populate it. For these spirits to establish themselves, a specific area of the forest is designated and still preserved outside the dan villages. Sacrifices are also required in order to communicate through these spirits.
The cotton weaving technique has spread to West Africa thanks to the displacements of the Dioulas. ...


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150.00

Agni Comian figure
African art > African Statues > Agni figure

Ex-collection French tribal art.
Agni sculpture in African art
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 polychrome African statue, used by the fetishist, has body and facial scarifications. The eyebrow arches meet on the ridge of the nose. Supported by a ringed neck representing her necklaces, the imposing head is topped with braided shells. This statue provided communication with the spirits of ancestors and geniuses established in the supernatural world and belonged to the female Comians members of secret societies, endowed with occult gifts. Restoration on the base. The Portuguese came into contact with the Akan at the end of the 15th century and quickly settled in the coastal ...


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280.00

Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
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African art > African Textile > Velours 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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Dogon Pharmacopoeia Box
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African art > Usual african items > Dogon Box

Ex-French tribal art collection.
African Art and Dogon.While vertical, with two flaps that are held by metal staples, this sculpture was designed to preserve active medicinal preparations prepared from the advice of the elders who had been introduced to the science of trees or "jiridon". On its walls were carved motifs relating to the rich cosmogony of the Dogon and reinforcing the healing power of the medications concerned. With three feet and a figure at the top, the ensemble also evokes the Nommos, geniuses associated with the creation of the world and capable of bringing health and longevity. Dark brown oiled wood. 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 ...


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Luba Cutting Carrier
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African art > African Statues > Statue Luba

Divinatory instruments in African art Luba
Figure female sitting stretched legs, on which a hemispheric container is arranged. This mboko , calabash that was filled with kaolin, an image of purity and the spiritual world, is endowed with a conical lid decorated with motifs that echo those of the broad headband whose statue is capped and the scarifications of his body. These containers were used by different Luba societies, and groups of prophets, more generally by the mediums of the society of divination Kilumbu, Bilumbu, or by the healers of the society Buhabo . The soothsayers Mbudye also used it. It was a matter, individually or collectively, to consult the spirits of the ancestors through specialists. Despite the imbalance of proportions, the object is imbued with a certain ...


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Statuette Lega Kakulu ka Mpito
African art > African Statues > Lega Statues

Ex-collection Belgian tribal art.
African art of Lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest rank of bwami from different communities. This type of statuette 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. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were inited. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to ...


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180.00





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