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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.

Mask Boa Kpongadomba, Pongdudu
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Boa Mask

With oversized ears, perforated as were the earlobes of the Eastern Boa, the "bavobongo", and a mouth lined with sticks featuring scattered teeth, this African tribal mask conferred an impressive appearance on its wearer. Abraded semi-matt patina. Cracks of desiccation.

Supposed to make one invulnerable and with the aim of terrifying the enemy, the African mask kpongadomba or " Pongdudu " of the Boa was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior . It was then kept in his wife's hut. Close to the Mangbetu and the Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa have used these masks for educational purposes with children since the pacification of the Uele region.


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180.00

Yaka Yiteke fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Yaka figure

These tribal statues, ritual charms belonging to lineages and providing protection against enemies, were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's patron. These African sculptures were then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas, and additions in the form of talismans or medicinal substances. The headdress is that of the earth chiefs, the nose has a characteristic snub nose shape. These sculptures were often hung in the huts. Matt patina, pinkish ochre highlights. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right of life and death over their subjects. The hunt and the prestige that comes with it are the occasion today for the Yaka to invoke the ancestors ...


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110.00

Yaka Yiteke Fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Yaka figure

African art, lineage charms
Ex-collection French tribal art.
This anthropomorphic figure must have contained a ritual magic charge, textile now missing held it all around the bust of the figure. These tribal statues providing protection against enemies were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's sponsor. This powerful tribal art object was then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas. One of the feet is damaged. Satin patina. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right of life and death over their subjects. The hunt and the prestige that comes with it are the occasion today for the Yaka to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using ...


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110.00

Dogon Monkey Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dogon Mask

This African Dogon "monkey" mask was collected in the 1950s by Monsieur Arnaud, accompanying Alain Bilot, Alain Bilot,
renowned collector of Dogon art during study stays in Mali.
Sheltering large orbital cavities, this heavy mask of angular structure forms the stylized evocation of a monkey. The matte, golden surface has also been rubbed with red ochre, whose crustal residues remain locally encrusted. Speckled powdery patina. Very slight lacks.
More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, of which the best known are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of ...


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390.00

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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140.00

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

A mask with a mouth with luscious lips and stretched eyelids coated with white clay dangle. It is decorated here with a goatee made of vegetable fibers. Dark, satin patina. Remains of sacrificial coating at the top. Lacks on the contours. Abrasions. Height on a base: 41 cm.
For the Danes, or Yacouba, living in western Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, the force that would animate the world would be manifested in the sculpted masks. This is how she seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to support him, and uses the dream channel beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to see made. These masks of different types are endowed with social, spiritual and political functions, often evolving over time.


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Dan Zakpei, Zakpai mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

The African dan masks named zapkei ge , whose eyes are blindfolded with red cloth, 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 example is embellished with a braided cap extended with long braids made of vegetable fibers. The thin face, with a black patina, is highlighted by the red headband with a yellow band. The eyes have metal rings. Smooth patina.
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 ...


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Igbo altar figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Igbo figure

The Igbo, in southeastern Nigeria, worship a considerable number of deities known as alusi , or agbara, considered to be the offspring of Chuku, or Chukwu, and as such constitute intermediaries to whom sacrifices such as kola nuts, money, kaolin,are granted in order to enjoy their favors.
The sculptors turn out to be men, but female followers often contribute by finishing the work with colored pigments.
This statuette is probably from a family altar. The hair and integumentary ornaments also indicate the social rank of the character. They are only presented to the public during annual ceremonies. During the year, these statues are grouped by symbolic families and venerated by the village in huts reserved for them.
Satin golden brown patina. Chips on one ...


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290.00

Kusu Hemba statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kusu statue

Individual protection figures such as our example, used by the Hemba and Kusu, were inspired by Songye fetishes. The magic charge was inserted into the cavity at the top of the head.
Satin patina, abrasions and cracks. The Kusu settled on the left bank of the Lualaba borrowed artistic traditions from the Luba and Hemba and have a caste system similar to that of the Luba. 
The Hemba on the other hand have settled in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River. Once under the domination of the Luba, these farmers and hunters practice ancestor worship by means of effigies long attributed to the Luba. The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored in ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the ...


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280.00

Sanza Zela
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African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Sanza Zela

Ex Belgian African art collection.

Very common in Central Africa, this musical instrument or sanza anthropomorphic offers a sounding board forming the bust of the figure, on which metal slats are attached. The thumbs of both hands will rest on the soundboard to vibrate the front ends of the strips. In Zaire, however, where all the fingers are used as for the piano, groups of instruments play in complementary registers. Brown satin patina, abrasions. Once subject to the Luba, then the Lundas, the Zela have adopted many of their customs and traditions. Established between the Luvua River and Lake Kisale, they are now organized into four chiefdoms under the supervision of leaders of Luba origin. They venerate a primordial couple frequently represented in statuary, mythical ...


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Songye Kalebwe Nkishi fetish statue
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye fetish

Statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi ) camped high on a rounded base. The power of the fetish, according to Songye beliefs, would be reinforced by the presence of its accessories, such as the summit horn and the various additions of materials and accessories, vegetable fibers, animal skins, dried fruits, etc... Semi-matt brown patina. Cracks.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba River. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. ...


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170.00

Luba Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luba Mask

Ex-collection Belgian African art.
This mask, which had similarities to the Songye masks, did not have the same function. This category of rather rare African masks are named "bifwebe". They appeared at funerals and investitures. He performed during the ritual ceremonies of the kazanzi society, which was responsible for combating witchcraft. "Bifwebe" (Sing.: kifwebe) would mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "chasing the death". Worn with a voluminous raphia collar that concealed the dancer, this mask was usually danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. In the Luba, white is synonymous with the relationship with the spiritual world, by evoking the moon evoked by the circular form of the object. Half-closed globular eyelids are hollowed out, as are nostrils and a quadrangle mouth. ...


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

Ex-collection African art French.
This large African mascotBaoulé, a sculpture called portrait mascot or Ndoma, has a braided hairstyle gathered in shells. The placid physiognomy of the face, with half-closed eyes, is raised by the scarifications named "ngole". Smooth satin patina.
These Baule portrait masks, ndoma, which are part of one of the oldest Baule artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity of appearing at the end of entertainment dance ceremonies.These are named, according to the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc.... Each of these masks are distinguished by hairstyles, placement and choice of scarification. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of ...


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280.00

Boulou, Bulu ape statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Boulou ape

Anthropozoomorphic representations in African art .
Embodying the spirit of a great ape, this statue embodies an orangutan. Imprisoned in a clay pile, abrus seeds and cowries form a decorative pattern. Crusty surface, red ochre highlights.
The Boulou, an ethnic group of the Fang, live in Cameroon, on the border of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo, on a vast plateau within the equatorial forest near the Bakwele, whose habits and customs are comparable. Like the Fang of southern Cameroon with their white masks of justice, the Boulou also used the Ngil ritual to counter witchcraft and poisoning. Future initiates, following their integration into the secret society, identify with the Ngi , fierce emblematic gorilla. The Ngil society, which carried out, among other ...


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480.00

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

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

Ex collection Of Belgian African art.

The African Mbuya masks are worn by young men during the initiation and circumcision rites that make up the Mukanda. The headdress here is decorated with cured hair. The facial features are droopy and quite angular.
A thick raffia beard accompanies the room.

The Pende is generally distinguished from the East (Kasai) or the West (Kwilu). There is a wide variety of Pende statues and masks (at least sixty) often anthropomorphic but sometimes also zoomorphic.


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Statuette Ngbaka
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ngbaka Fetish

The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities, such as a heart-shaped face, as in the Ogooué River region of Gabon. Some authors (Celenko 1983) have attributed this type of work to the Zande living north of the Ngbaka.The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live to the east and the Ngombe to the south. A nasal ridge running up to the mouth here divides the large concave orbits characterizing the ovoid face of this hermaphrodite character. The rounded volumes of the body follow one another with rhythm from the head, with a rounded back bearing forward two small short arms gathered around the chest, a narrow bust widening towards developed lower limbs carried by massive feet.
Satin ...


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140.00

Senufo silence ring in copper
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African art > Jewelry, ornament > Senoufo ring

This ring is a symbol of prestige, copper being a sacred metal, and its animal motifs, buffalo head and bird, recall the Senufo genesis. Called the "ring of silence", probably by virtue of the secrecy to which the initiates are subjected, it was sometimes worn on the left hand, sometimes held between the teeth by healers during ceremonies with a therapeutic aim. Total height on base: 20 cm. Mainly farmers, the Senoufo group lives in a savannah region that covers the south of Mali and Burkina Faso, and the north of the Ivory Coast. It includes about fifty sub-ethnic groups. The Senufo speak a Voltaic language, Gur, like the Lobi and Koulango. If among the five groups of Senoufo artisans the kulibèlé are sculptors, the fonombèlé are both smiths and sculptors, claiming to be ...

Tsogho, Mitsogho mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tsogho mask

A neighboring tribe of the Pounou or Punu , the Tsogo , Mitsogo , are traditionally farmers (slash-and-burn agriculture) and matrilineal, and renowned for their elaborate rituals of religious practice, and particularly initiation, including the bwiti or mwiri for men, and the nyembe for women. They live on the right bank of the Ngoumé River. The function of their African masks is essentially the propitiation of the spirits of the ancestors and divination through the use of medicinal plants, particularly hallucinogenic. Their masks are kept at the back of the ebanza house where the initiates gather.
This mask offering thick kaolin residue in the center of the face is carved from dense wood. The corners of the mouth are raised, inscribing a debonair physiognomy. Abrasions and ...


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280.00

Kwéré Zaramo Mwana Hiti doll figure
African art > African Dolls > Kwéré doll

The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwere and the Doé, have designed dolls that are generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues are attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of seclusion of the young Zaramo initiate. The novice will behave towards the object as she would towards a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In the event that the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child. Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated at the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts. The form is recurrent, a stylized head, topped with a double or single crest, surmounting a tubular bust without arms where the breasts and umbilicus are indicated by a ...

Luba Kifwebe Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luba Mask

This type of African luba mask with a rounded structure has similarities with the masks of the Songye. They did not, however, serve the same function. This category of African masks are called "bifwebe. They appeared at funerals and investitures. Abraded matte patina.


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170.00





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