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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.

Songola mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songola mask

African mask of rectangular shape, attributed to the executioner and intended for the highest ranking members of the Nsubi society, the latter also initiating the wives. This mask borrows some features from the Kumu and Mbole masks.

Height on base: 48 cm.
Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, they engage in sculpture although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the Nsubi society evoke those of the Mbole, other sculptures were kept in ...


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110.00

Statue Dogon Bombou-Toro
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Dogon

Characteristic of the central part of the Bandiagara cliff, Bombou-toro, this hermaphroditic figure is distinguished by the circular block of shoulders, long slender limbs, conical chest, and scarified motifs. Crusty matte patina. Inlaid libatory deposits. Cracks.
Sculpted for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. However, their functions remain little known. Alongside Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon; the Wagem, cult of the ancestors under the authority of the patriarch; the Binu invoking the spirit world and led by the Binu ...


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Dogon couple figures
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statues Dogon

Ex.belgian African art collectionr-These mythical protective figures no doubt evoke the primordial couple, associated with the Nommos , at the origin of the dogon creation. Ovoid heads whose nasal ridge joins the crest rest on discoid chin straps. The volume of the body sculpted into a block is presented in sharp, stylized planes, arms attached to the bust, an umbilical protrusion affirming lineage, and semi-flexed legs seeming to sink into a circular base. Dry crusty skate. Cracks in desications. Mostly custom-carved by a family, Dogon statues can also be worshipped by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. However, their functions remain little known. Parallel to Islam, dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, ...


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Senoufo Poniugo Korobla Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo Mask

This African senoufo mask, adorned with a polychrome pastillage, has a large mouth of tubular ears, horns and fangs, and a summit figure with a cup. This African senoufo mask with a round head, exorbitant pupils, wide toothed jaw and zoomorphic ears, is named 'fire-breather' (Korobla). It is sometimes accessorized with magical attributes. The chameleon motif refers to the emblematic animal that preceded the creation of human beings and symbolizes knowledge, the cup is intended for magical substances.
The Senoufo, 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.
Representations of hybrid beings, the ...


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Maternity ward Baule Waka Sona
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African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Baoule statue

Probably the embodiment of a female goddess, this figure of a young woman, depicted seated on a royal seat, is nursing her child. Traditional keloid scars are carefully chiseled, jewelry indicates her status, and braids gathered into hulls form a refined hairstyle. These statues were kept on the bo osu altar where sacrifices were made to the spirits. Speckled patina.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baule in the ritual setting: Waka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baule, 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 diviners komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the ...


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

A long beard forms the distinctive element of this Baule statue. The meticulously engraved integumentary ornaments of the sculpted figure express the Baule concept of beauty, a constant in traditional African art: numerous checkerboard scarifications and a sophisticated headdress. Brown patina inlaid with ochre, satin finish. About sixty ethnic groups inhabit 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 their 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 ...


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290.00

Dogon ceremonial hair pin
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African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Dogon Pin

Jan Putteneers African Art Collection for sale.

This dogon sculpture, a traditional figurative jewel, adorned with a zoomorphic subject, accompanied the ceremonial dress of religious leaders hogon responsible for the cult of the lebed, the mythical snake, and the priests of Binou. Small metal objects fashioned using the lost wax technique were widespread in the interior delta region of Niger, with copper being made possible by trans-Saharan trade. Excavations on the Bandiagara plateau have uncovered remains of steel sites prior to the 15th century, when the Dogons arrived. Blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim. They now produce weapons, tools, and also work wood. They are also believed to be associated with the primordial beings of the god Ama, ...


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

The African masks dan zapkei ge are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. This sober example is embellished with a braided hairstyle, whose two braids frame the face. The thin face has protruding lips. Smooth, velvety patina, coated with clay.
For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in the west of the Ivory Coast and in Liberia, the "dü" force that animates the world manifests itself in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that it seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to give him support, and uses the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to ...


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175.00

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

Celebrating the beauty of Dan girls, the Déanglé mask is styled with thin, tight braids. The surface is smooth, soft and satiny. Renowned in African art, the Yacouba, also called Dan, are known for their masks and their traditional dances, sacred or profane. Their masks, of varied workmanship, are generally performed during very theatrical entertainment festivals where women play a predominant role. The "mocking" mask called Déanglé defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is sculpted in honor of the young girls of the village or of renowned men. For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in the west of the Ivory Coast and in Liberia, the "dü" force that animates the world is manifested in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that it seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to give ...


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175.00

Female figure Mumuye
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Mumuye

The African art Mumuye and the intriguing anatomy of its traditional statues
. Work of the sculptor named rati or molabaiene, this feminine effigy of the Mumuye has a long cylindrical bust on which point reduced breasts and a protruding umbilical. The rounded volume of the shoulders extends with flat arms spread from the torso, interminable, and whose notch suggests movement. The leg blocks devoid of feet is dug with parallel notches. The eyes are drawn in the wood and scarifications diagonally frame the incision forming the mouth. Ethnic lateral pendants are believed to be associated with a helmeted hairstyle, flanked here by a double sagittal crest, or the earlobes of women adorned with large discs. Dark brown, matte, long crack of desication.
The statuary emanating from ...


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Mumuye Lagalagana statue
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mumuye statue

An unusual, rhythmic design for Mumuye sculpted figures: the shoulder block is extended laterally by flat arms, dominating a columnar bust on which tiny breasts stand out. As a reminder of the upper volumes, the lower limbs are made in an arch. The sagittal crest forms with the ears distended by the buckles, only worn by the women of the ethnic group, like a strange warrior helmet.
Beautiful glossy patina abraded locally, residues of red pigments on the head. The statuary emanating from the northwestern region of the Middle Benue, from the Kona Jukun, to the Mumuye and up to the Wurkun populations is distinguished by a relative absence of ornamentation and a refined stylization. The 100,000 Adamawa speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola, ...


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Senoufo mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo mask

The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, the institution that controls political and economic life.
Variously shaped fins alternate on the contours of this narrow face topped with growths. "Kpélié" meaning "mask that jumps", it is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth.
Dark patina, granular residual inlays.
Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to remove them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Living in a reserved area, the senufo sculptor, whose training lasted seven years, began by making everyday ...


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Senoufo Kpeliye mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo mask

The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
Growths of various shapes alternate around the face of this narrow mask. It is surmounted by an animal scene in the form of a stylized sculpted motif.
Black, grainy patina. "Kpélié" meaning "mask that jumps", this mask is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth. Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to remove them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Living in a reserved area, the senufo sculptor, whose training ...


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130.00

Luba neck support
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African art > Head rest > Luba headrest

Ex Belgian African art collection.
.The Luba are renowned for their statuary and in particular their neck rests and stools made up of a caryatid figure. The figures adorning this neckrest, which must preserve the complex headdress of its owner, refer to Luba royalty. But the neck rests were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. Medium brown patina abraded.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, hence the name (Baluba, which means "the Lubas"). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala, who had the old king Kongolo, venerated since then in the form of ...


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Pende Mbangu Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende Mask

The masks of disease Pende Mbangu (deformed mouth) or Bwala-Bwala , illustrate, by their outraged features, the patient in an epileptic seizure or the result of facial paralysis caused by witchcraft rituals. The dancer wearing this comedy mask is wearing a feather hat gifuatu guinea fowl, coucal or touraco, or lumbandu, a crown of leaves. It is also often equipped with a bump on the back, exaggerating the handicapped aspect of the character. This Mask of Pende established in Upper Kwango is distinguished by its bent nose and a deformed mouth. It is also enhanced with contrasting colors, here faintly perceptible. The hairstyle composed of vegetable fibers and raw canvas is made around a frame of basketry. Abrasions. The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners ...


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Small Pende Nsembu mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende Mask

Deformity in tribal art The Pende Mbangu "sickness" masks illustrate, by their deformed features, the patient in epileptic seizure or the result of facial paralysis caused by witchcraft rituals. In many tribal cultures, however, epilepsy is seen as a divine seal on an individual who is able to communicate with the spiritual world in this way. The dancer who wears this comedy mask wears a hat made of feathers gifuatu of guinea fowl, coucal or touraco, or the lumbandu , a crown of leaves. It is also often equipped with a hump on the back, exaggerating then the handicapped appearance of the character. A hat composed of a basketry frame trimmed with raffia caps the face, itself lined with canvas. Matt patina. Height on base: 31 cm. br> The Western Pende live on the banks of ...


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195.00

Female figure Metoko
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Metoko statue

This sculpture played a role in funeral rites and was then placed on the tomb of the deceased. The face, graphic, and the body, worked in a realistic style, are divided into two colors. Residual clay incrustations. Desiccation cracks.
Statues named Ibubi, belonging to the Nkumi, ancient of the Bukota used as the kakungu figure for initiation rites in male society, played a role during mediation in disputes. The Metoko and Lengola, whose ritual sculptures are very similar, are peoples of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, a rare monotheism in Africa. Their society comprising three ranks, the Bukota, structured daily life and accommodated both men and women. It represents the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. The sculptures ...


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Baule Ndoma Horned Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baoule Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
African Mask Baoulé, known as the portrait mask or Ndoma, which brings together a human face and ram horns symbolizing endurance and strength. Cracks on internal contours. Locally grainy matte patina. Kaolin remains. These portraits 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 entertainment dance ceremonies. 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. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of personalities, ...


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240.00

Baule Ndoma Helmet Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baoule Mask

This voluminous African mask of the Baoulé, a traditional sculpture called portrait mask or Ndoma, features a hairstyle composed of braided hair topped by a feline. The face with fine features features features the traditional scarifications called " ngole". Dark brown surface mattified with a clay coating.
These portraits 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 entertainment dance ceremonies. 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. They perform during danced events accompanied by ...


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Lwalwa female statuette
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lwalwa statuette

Small ritual sculpture depicting a woman whose face evokes the mask Mfondo or Nkaki. Lwalwa statuary, rare, is linked to the fertility rites of the secret female society. Clear mahogany satin smooth patina. Cracks and abrasions.
This is near the Kasai River that the Lwalwa live, between Angola and Zaire. Historically with a matrilineal society, the Lwalwa, after having been influenced by Luba and Songy, adopted a patrilineal system within their rudimentary political and social organization. The nkaki, wood-carved mulela mask, is one of four types of masks produced by the privileged caste formed by their sculptors: These craftsmen, according to their merits, can become conductors and organize dances, including the balango, (also bangongo) during which acrobatics are performed by ...


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180.00

Lulua Maternity
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Luluwa Maternity

Relief motifs, erogenous and symbolic scarifications, embellish this African maternity. This female figure embracing a child has a greyish brown patina. These statuettes were supposed to protect the child and its mother. There are cracks and slight missing parts. The different types of Luluwa, Lulua, or Béna Lulua statues, with multiple scarifications, glorify local chiefs, maternity, fertility and the female figure. This sculptural art was subject to the influences of neighboring ethnic groups (Chokwe, Luba, Kuba, etc.). The Lulua, or Bena Lulua, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo from West Africa. Their social structure, based on castes, is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but mainly statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, ...


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