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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.

Dogon Walu Mask
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African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

The hippotrague antelope is evoked thanks to this African mask of the Dogon. Indeed, the presence of horns curved backwards recalls the walu, an animal linked to the dogon cosmogon. High rectangular depressions have been fitted with cavities for vision.
An ancient polychromy remains weakly. Remains of libations. Dry surface abraded, furrowed. Restoration visible on a horn.
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, ...


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Ogoni mobile jaw mask
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African art > African mask > Ogoni Mask

The Ogoni live along the coast of Nigeria, near the mouth of the Cross-River, south of the Igbo and west of the Ibibio. Their sculptures vary from village to village, but are mainly renowned for their articulated macho masks such as some Ekpo Ibibio masks. Their masks were usually worn at funerals, festivities accompanying plantations and crops, but also more recently to welcome distinguished guests. The acrobatic events related to the celebration karikpo, and accompanied by the drum kere karikpo , were also an opportunity to exhibit various zoomorphic masks. This small Ogboni mask, which would embody a high-ranking ancestor or character, has a joint feature of zoomorphic elements. In the crest, a stylized bird comes to lay its beak on the flat of the cap. Grainy patina. Cracked beak.


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Masque than Déanglé
African art > African mask > Masque than

Ex-French African art collection.
A hairstyle composed of raffia mats, with tight braiding, accompanies this African Dan mask also lined with metallic bells. The look, enhanced by an aluminum veneer plastered with a dark patina, is pierced with thin horizontal gashes for the dancer's vision. The ajar lips protrude in diamonds. A gap is visible on the nose. Dan masks, of varying size, 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 circumcision rites, they appear in the company of s- and goge masks relating to the go society, which exercises justice and ...


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350.00

Ligbi Mask
African art > African mask > Djimini Mask

A female effigy, in bust, surmounts the face of this monoxyle mask. The influence of the Senoufo neighbors is manifested by the presence of side appendages reminiscent of the contours of the masks kpeliye . The Ligbi are also known for the use of blue pigments on their masks, raising with red ochre the fins, the look, and the scarifications of the mouth. The triple nose here offers an intriguing feature. Grainy surface.

Established in Ivory Coast, but also in Ghana, the Ligbi , Islamized, however, were influenced by the tribal sculpture Senoufo, since they instructed Senoufo or Mandé to sculpt their masks. This is why certain elements have been integrated into the masks related to the society of the do . This masked tradition has been preserved to manifest itself ...


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350.00

Masque League Lukwakongo
African art > African mask > Masque League

Lega primitive sculptures in African art.
This mask, which was not intended to be worn, but manipulated during rituals, displays a circular, regular face, in which an ovoid forehead dominates the orbits dug in the heart. Coffee bean eyes, with half-closed eyelids, are hollowed out. There are streaks on the teeth on the ajar lips. A raffia beard is attached to the lower contours. Smooth satin patina, the center of which is encased with a kaolin crust. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which were joined by wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Within the Lega, the society of Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There ...


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180.00

Babanki / Bamoun helmet mask
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African art > African mask > Babanki Mask

The Babanki live in the northern part of the region called Cameroonian Grasslands . Their neighbours are the Kom, Wum and Bali. Under the influence of the Fulani invaders, many of them converted to Islam. They revered the ancestors who would incarnate in the skulls held by the elders of each lineage. Grasslands brotherhoods use zoomorphic masks, some decorated with beads, called buffalo masks, and beaded hoods that also represent the elephant. The elders would indeed be endowed with the power to transform themselves into animals. In some lyings however, this mask is replaced by the wooden elephant mask. A symbol of the Fon's prestige, these sculptures were also trodden and present throughout this cultural area. The tusks of the pachyderm were exclusively the chiefs. (Animal, Dapper ...

Ancestor figure Teke Butti
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African art > African Statues > Statue Teke

This ancestor effigy whose rectangular abdomen has been hollowed out to house the magical charge called " Bonga " is camped on half-flexed legs with massive feet. A pronounced pout reinforces the determination of his attitude. The face is engraved with parallel incisures and extends from the beard of the old. Its strange prestige headdress consists of a circular element topped by a crest whose end comes to die between the eyebrows. Xylophages, misses. Greyed light brown skate and kaolin use.
Established between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized as chiefdoms, the leader of which was often chosen among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right to life or death over his family whose importance determined his prestige. The leader ...


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Luba Cutting Carrier
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African art > African Statues > Statue Luba

Divinatory instruments in the African art of the Luba
This statuette presents a hemispheric container, a cup mboko , calabash that was filled with kaolin, symbolizing purity and the spiritual world. 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.
The eyelids of this female figure embodying one or more geniuses are closed in a delicately shaped face, giving it a peaceful interiority. According to P.Nooter these figures, seated or kneeling as appropriate, also represented the ...


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Mossi crest mask
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

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 ancestor in order to influence the daily life of the members of the ethnic group. They appear to honor the deceased during funeral rites, and to escort souls to the realm of the dead. They also occur during agricultural festivals in order to ensure the progression of the seasons, so during the initiation rites they will ...


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200.00

Mask Baoulé moon
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African art > African mask > Baule Mask

The African art of the Baoulé, an Akan group established in the south-east of Côte d'Ivoire, has a wide range of masks renowned for their quality, finesse and symmetry, but which have borrowed many stylistic elements from the Yauré and Guro. On the one hand, these African masks transposing the main facial features of a very beautiful girl or a remarkable man, "masques-portraits", which were exhibited at particularly theatrical events where women held one great role, on the other, masks of conjuring, and initiation, intervening in ceremonies that were forbidden to them. Sacred masks, they could endanger their lives, or at most their fertility. This circular cephalomorphic mask features a face with sculpted patterns. Currently, this mask still appears during entertainment celebrations ...


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Grebo, Kru mask
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African art > African mask > Krou Mask

Ex-French tribal art collection.
African art from the shores of the Cavally and its fantastic masksThe cleavage tops a flat surface that animates six tubular outgrowths evoking eyes. A rectangular volume forms the toothed mouth, and a beard made of vegetable fibers complements the whole. Some of the largest copies were worn horizontally in crests. This room, which is equipped, between the eyes, with openings allowing vision, constitutes a face mask. Mate polychrome skate. 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 could symbolize the mythical creatures that ...


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Zande ancestor couple
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African art > African Statues > Statuettes Zande

Belgian African art collection.
Formerly known as " Niam-Niam because they are considered anthropophages, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande , Azandé , settled, from Chad, on the border of the R.D.C. (Zaire), from Chad, on the border of the R.D.C. (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of which transforms upon his death into the totem animal of the clan to which he belongs. The African tribal art of the Zande, or ", those who own a lot of land", apart from their courtart consisting of spoons, receptre, pipes and harps, counts two types of statues: Kudu statues of a height between 30 and 50 cm represent ancestors. There are also statues called Yanda 10 to 20 cm, animal or human form, having an ...


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Senoufo loom pulley
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African art > Usual african items > Senoufo 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 pulley is decorated with a stylized zoomorphic figure that depicts the head of a cattle. Geometric patterns composed of parallel lines are carefully engraved on the wood. The brown surface, satin with oil anointings, has a grainy appearance. 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 ...


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Pende Mask
African art > African mask > Pende Mask

The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the eastern settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the masks Mbuya , realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chef, the soothsayer and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc. The masks of initiation and those of power, the minganji, represent the ancestors and occur successively during the same ceremonies, agricultural festivals, initiation rituals and circumcision mukanda, induction of the chief. The Kipoko mask (also known as Mukishi wa Mutsue or Mbundju) is a ...


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280.00

Ashanti Akwaba Fertility Doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti Akuaba doll

Ex French African art collection.

This people consider women to be the final arbiter of all decisions. Fertility and children are the most common themes mentioned in Ashanti wood carvings. This ethnic group has built a relatively democratic society based on the moral value of the individual.
The Ashantis founded a monarchy as early as the 17th century. The identities of the various Akan ethnic groups were influenced by both Islam and Christianity.

Their dolls are famous and easily recognizable 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 detach at a ...

Head Kronkronbali Komaland
African art > African Terracotta > Head Komaland

Ex-French tribal art collection.
Typical in African art, the kronkronbali Komaland heads, meaning " children of yesteryear", have marked features, often roughly. A mouth with luscious lips. The eyes, nose, eyebrows, beards and whiskers are, more often than not, formed of earthen bulges. The head, at the top, is concave and pierced.
These heads appear to have been sculpted as such, without bodies, reminiscent of the statuary Akan or Anyi. They look like a kind of cork, pressed in a circular way around tumuli, tombs themselves circular and covered with stones. Search subject.
The first ones were discovered in the 1970s and 1980s by German anthropologists who dated them between the 13th and 19th centuries. Base included.


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150.00

Bozo fish mask
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African art > African mask > Bozo Mask

Bozo polychrome works in the African art of Mali
This ancient African zoomorphic mask honors Faro, water genius. The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the niger's inner delta and remain semi-nomadic today, moving their homes as seasonal floods occur. Mande-speaking people, they speak sorogama. Within their group, we can distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie.In addition to their remarkable traditional masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the theatre of Puppets Sogow bo which organizes itself on the initiative of young people from the villages, mainly in the region of Ségou, and which plays an educational role. The invention of these ...


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Yohoure Lomane Mask
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African art > African mask > Yaoure Mask

This African mask belonging to the company I offers a headdress made up of birds perched on a promontory. A tripartite hair decorated with diamonds dug in the wood highlights a high forehead, while a border of triangular motifs borders the jaw. The small scarifications of the "ngole" are inscribed on the temples. The smooth, sainy surface has thinned areas.
This copy, which could be attributed to the group of Anoman , Lomane , (bird) is part of the fourth of the seven masks I originally danced around the deceased and leaned up to touch him for a purifying purpose. It also appears at present during rejoicing. The Yaouré are a subgroup of the people Akan found in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Geographically close to the Baoulé and Gouros, the art of Yaouré was influenced by these ...


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Mangbetu Beli statuette
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African art > African Statues > Statue Mangbetu

Body paintings and scarifications, evoked by geometric lines, run through the face and body of this female figure. They were similar to those of the Asua pygmies with whom the tribe had relations, and varied according to the circumstances.
The fan hairstyle is characteristic of that of the Mangbetu women: from an early age, children were compressed from the cranial box by means of raffia bonds. Later, the young women \


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Kasai Kuba Shoowa Velvet
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African art > African Textile > Velours 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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Kongo Pfemba Maternity
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African art > African Statues > Phemba Maternity

Ex-Belgian tribal art collection.
Naturalism of African art of the Kongo/Yombe group
Group of the Kongo ethnic group , the Yombe are characterized by a statuary with round or pointed headdresses, a mouth ajar on slender teeth, and eyes in which pupils are visible. In this case the look is made up of black pin-head pupils whose glass shard accentuates the hypnotic character. Relief scarifications adorn the bust of the character. Fertility and progeny, central themes of African cultures, are addressed through this motherhood or phemba. The mother sits in a suit on a quadrangular seat.  In order to activate the magical force of the object, the nganga had to insert a nail or blade into the object, the metal, for the Kongo, being a symbol of power endowed with many virtues. ...


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