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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.

Baga Altar Mask
African art > African mask > Baga Mask

Ex-English African art collection.
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku, which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup , figured by a large cage covered with raffia whose top is a bird's head. Another spirit adopts a form of snake, the bansonyi , head of the classes to-lom . The nimba, the shoulder mask, evokes a fertile woman. Each family has, among a variety of consecrated objects, an altar in the form of a composite figure of bird and human, athel or elek , which rises from a circular base. Frequent sacrifices are supposed to reactivate the protective power of the Elek. Other headdresses ...

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Idoma Crest mask
African art > African mask > Idoma Mask

The Idoma live at the confluence of Benué and Niger. There are 500,000 farmers and traders. The neighbourhood and thus the influences of the Igbo, those of the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups, have led to stylistic borrowings, and great tribal similarities. The royal lineage members of their society oglinye , glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They also produce fertility statues with bleached faces and exhibiting incised teeth. Janiform crests are usually displayed at the funerals of notables. Dark grainy patina. Slight cracks and abrasions.

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Statuette Yoruba
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statuette Yoruba

This sculpture of African tribal art is associated with fertility. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the deity of his duties to men. Wearing a high crest, the priestess also sports the three deep keloids of the Yoruba nobles on each cheek. The globular eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of the tribal statuary Yoruba.
Fine brass tips enhance a clear patina.
The Yoruba traded slaves with the Europeans and especially the Portuguese before being completely subjugated to the English following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in place. The main Yoruba cults are the Gelede, Epa, Ogboni, and the worship Esu, through which a very wide variety of deities intervene. Focused on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the ...

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Dan Gagon Mask
African art > African mask > Gagon Mask

Despite the presence of circular eyes facilitating the race of the Gunyéya , the mouth turning into a curved beak with a hair top allows to identify it as belonging to the category of masks gagon . A resinous agglomerate, mixed with yellow ochre vegetable powder, traps the fibres at the base of the nose. The piece is still equipped with the textile hood to conceal the neck of the wearer. The grainy surface has a satin patina with reddish and locally chipped reflections. Crack.This mask occurs during important festivals in the north of the region dan. Renowned in African art, the Yacouba , also known as Dan , have settled in western Côte d'Ivoire but also in Liberia. They are known for their traditional masks and dances, sacred or profane. The villages were run by a leader elected for ...

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Statue Dogon Dege
African art > African Statues > Statue Dogon

According to Geneviève Calame-Griaule, these statues, associated with fertility and motherhood, named dege were intermediaries between men and spirits or geniuses. These statues, sometimes embodying the deceased's "nyama", are placed on altars of ancestors and participate in various rituals including those of the periods of seeds and harvests. Parallel to 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 ancestors under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the world of spirits and led by the priest of Binou, and the society of masks concerning the funeral . According to the dogon cosmogon, the first primordial ancestors of Dogon, called Nommo, were the bisexual ...

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Masque Goli
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Goli

Imposing dimensions for this exceptional mask named Goli Glen , with zoomorphic attributes. This tribal mask honors Goli , son of Nyamien the god of heaven among the Baoulé . The Goli constitutes the set of four pairs of masks, but also the ceremonial dance that stages them during funerals, entertainment parties, visits of personalities. The concave face extended by the toothed jaw recalls the Kplé-Kplé circular mask, with its prominent pupils. Two thin, discrete slits allowed the wearer's vision. At the top of the curved horns stand behind short zoomorphic ears. The back of the mask has a large animal skin cape, lined with cotton cloth. A similar strip of textile stone fills the contours of the object, for the comfort of the wearer.
Set brown and yellow yellow kaolin patina. ...

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Masque Kuba Pwoom itok
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Cuba

The rites of induction and funeral in African art
This copy that would represent the man of the people, intended according to Cornet for the initiation ceremonies of young people, does not fall into the category of royal African masks. Torday and Joyce report that the Ngongo of the secret society babende used this mask in the company of the bundu and the gore moashi . Called Ishyeenmaal , Ishendemale or Pwoom itok, it features horns, also present on palm wine cups, and reminiscent of the old hairstyle of Kuba warriors sported since by the chiefs. It consisted of two mats symbolizing the horns of the buffalo. The conical eyes in projection, blind, can refer to the chameleon. The shaved, hydrocephalus forehead evokes the hairstyles characteristic of kuba women. The surface of ...

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Large mask hem Baoulé
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

This heavy mask in the mask-portrait category evokes an elderly man's face, surmounted by an ancestor figure. Aesthetic characters, such as checkered keloids, sign ngole in the center of the eyebrow arch, a hairstyle carefully engraved with braids, are classically present. The hem is equipped with a cotton canvas pad to protect the top of the dancer's head.
Oiled reddish brown patina, localized erosions, few cracks.
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 ...

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Statue Idoma Ekwotame
African art > African Statues > Statue Idoma

The Idoma live at the confluence of Benué and Niger. There are 500,000 farmers and traders. Their art and customs include Igbo, Cross River and Igala influences and it is often difficult to distinguish them from their neighbours. The royal lineage members of their society oglinye , glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They also produce fertility statues with bleached faces and exhibiting incised teeth. Janiform crests are usually displayed at the funerals of notables. Members of the male society Kwompten , meanwhile, used statues named goemai as part of healing rituals.
This female figure sitting in the frontal position represents an ancestor and magnifies lineage. These statues are frequently placed near the body of the deceased during ...

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Bwa / Bobo Mask
promo art africain
African art > African mask > Bwa / Bobo Mask

Ex-Swiss African art collection.
African masks of bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take over 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 ...

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380.00 € 280.00 ( -26.3 %)

Chokwe Prestige Tabouret, Tschokwe
objet vendu
African art > African Chair > Chokwe Tabouret

Ex-French African art collection.
The tray of this African ceremonial stool, materializing the power of the chieffale, brings together two sculptures in round-bump representing masks Cihongo , male counterpart of the female mask Chokwe Pwo. The headbands forming the tribal hairstyle support a circular seat whose outline is engraved with checkerboard motifs. Similar patterns form the scarifications inscribed on the faces. The chiefs had a major function in the propitiation rites intended for the hunting and fertility of women, the objects being adorned with this type of symbols thus, likely, a protective function. Cihongo masks were also worn during the collection of taxes owed to the chief, the latter granting individuals agricultural land and hunting areas. Abraded, glossy, ...

Large mask Baoulé, Baule, Ndoma
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

An African mask of the Baoulé ethnic group, of the mask-portrait type, it is topped with a pattern that blossoms into a double corolla from a braided hairstyle. The eyebrow arch, whose center is printed with the sign ngole joins the nose at the subtle curve responding to a narrow mouth protruding. Small growths are related to scarifications. Carved from a particularly dense wood, this ethnic mask with harmonious features was encased with an oiled brown patina, locally abraded, with kaolin residue around the eyes.
Ensure a triangle of the outline.
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 ...

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Pipe Zande, Azande
African art > Usual african items > Statue Zandé

African tribal art counts two types of Azande statues.
This Zande ritual pipe offers a face with wide heart orbits that a middle ridge divides. Notches form the character's nose and mouth. Cauris are encrusted, showing half-closed eyelids. Wicker fills the neck, ears, and base of the pipe. The furnace symbolically placed at the level of umbilical prominence brings a special singularity to this object. The whole thing is coated with a crusty black brown patina.
Kudu statues between 30 and 50 cm high represent ancestors. There are also statues known as Yanda of 10 to 20 cm, of animal or human form, having an apotropaic role and being exhibited during divinatory rites during the rituals of the Mani society. Formerly referred to as " Niam-Niam because they are considered ...

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Krou Face Mask
African art > African mask > Kru Mask

Two projections with brass pupils refer to the phrase often quoted in West Africa "Four eyes", describing a person endowed with a power of divination. This African mask Kru also uses cannons from war masks Guéré produced by the bloodlines Wé thanks to the multiple horned elements animating the surface. The horns at the top are an allusion to cattle, while cloth pouches contain apotropaic elements. A raphia cloth underlines the jaw.
Residual kaolin incrustations.
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 reclusively. Unlike most people in West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths are said to be of origin oubi , ...

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Baoulé Ndoma Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

This traditional tribal mask of the Baoulé offers a girl's face lacquered in bright red in which the features and scarifications are raised in black. The hairstyle is arranged in three shells. Braided. Well-preserved polychromy. 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 itself 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 is distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications. They perform during dance events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of personalities, staging various ...

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Great reliquary figure Kota Obamba
objet vendu
African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-French African art collection.
This stylized figure of ancestor comes from the Obamba of Upper Ogooué. Leaves and strips of copper and brass offer a contrast of golden and coppery colours on one side, the reverse having only an ornamentation a volume carved in diamond. The crest and side shells are decorated with geometric patterns engraved with the repulsed and set with tapestry nails. Copper wires form a braid on the base, the base of which is eroded. The eyes, in a concave face streaked and adorned with cabochons evoking a skull, are formed of crescents carved in bone, animated by brass pupils. Metallic growths, despite the smile engraved on the face, show tears. This type of effigy was intended to keep the mortuary relics of the ancestors of high lineage, fragments of bones ...

Konantré Baoulé pulley, Baule
objet vendu
African art > Usual african items > Etrier Baule

Ex-french African art collection.
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. 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. A cephalomorphic pulley, it is adorned with a bovid head. Its velvety patina, black brown, grainy in places, lets perceive a lighter wood on the protrusions of the head. It would be for the sole aesthetic pleasure of the craftsman that ornamental figures were carved on the pulleys of loom, but drawing attention ...

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Statue Bangwa
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Bangwa

Ex French tribal art collection.
The rich production of African art among the people of Cameroonian Grassland is distinguished mainly by the statuary on wood: commemorative sculptures of kings, queens, princesses and crowned servants, as well as relatives of twins.
In the large Bamileke people in western Cameroon, the Bangwa constitute a small kingdom. The influence of Bamileke on the statuary bangwa is notable for relatively comparable facial features and morphology. Typical of the country bamileke , the statues Bangwa often represent fertility but also power and combativeness. They are often positioned on either side of the induction chairs at notable meetings. Within the large bamileke people in western Cameroon, the Bangwa constitute a small kingdom. The ...

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Cavalier Bamana
African art > African Rider > Cavalier Bambara

The Bambara of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande group, such as the Soninke and Malinke. They believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala who maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth. Large masked festivals close the initiation rites of the dyo association and the ritual of the gwan of the bambara in the south of the Bambara country. Spread over a seven-year period for men, they are less demanding for women. The new initiates then celebrate, in groups, from village to village, their symbolic rebirth. These are the sons of the blacksmiths who dance around the statues that were available outside the festivities grouped ...

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Lega janiform figurines
African art > African Statues > League figurines

Identifiable by its context of use, this bust, with two faces topped with a feathered top evoking one of the headdresses of the Bwami aspirants, belonged to an insider of the Bwami and was part of a set used over the years Initiations. It was only visible at that time. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were exhibited, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these objects, real metaphors referring to largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took ...

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Fétiche Voodoo Valley Boccio, Botchio
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Voodoo statue

With her chest and arms trapped in a network of ropes, ropes, to which two padlocks are added, this female figure sports a metallic growth in the centre of her hairstyle. The base of the object ends in a thick, largely eroded cylinder. Grainy patina, residues of red ochre vegetable bark.
This botchio (from bo: "malfice" in fon, and tchio , "cadavre") standing at the top of a pole was erected at the entrance of the village or a house in order to ward off any threat, physical or spiritual. Some of them took minimalist forms, barely put on a central trunk. The multitude of gods fon (vodun), similar to those of Yoruba under different names, is represented by fetishes of all shapes and natures. Their sanctuaries can be found in Togo, Dahomey, and western Nigeria. Statuettes ...

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