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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.

Baoulé Ndoma Mask
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African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

This distinctive face of the African masks Baoulé called mask-portraits, presents, in the center of the eyebrow arch in the heart marked with the sign ngole , a delicately drawn nose, a hollowed mouth revealing two rows of teeth. Small growths animate the forehead, in relation to scarifications. The beard representation evokes a hermaphrodite character. Carved from a particularly dense wood, this piece of African tribal art has an oiled brown patina particularly lustrous and abraded by time. Residual kaolin inscrustations. Desiccation furrows reveal the light wood underneath. 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 ...


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Maternity figure Hemba / Luba
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African art > African Statues > Hemba Luba figure

Tribal African figurative sculpture associated with maternity, devoid of ornaments, except a headdress composed of a diadem and mats gathered in the neck. Straight vertical scarifications appear on the cheeks. Meditative physiognomy with wide eyes in coffee beans. Shaped as a cure for sickness, sterility, to invoke guardian spirits, or for any other ritual use, it was part of the "mvidye", intermediaries between the spiritual world and individuals, who could also embody the spirits of nature Luba from Kasai. Brown and ocher satin patina. Cracks and erosions of the wood. The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, specifically the Lubu River area, so the name (Baluba, which means "Lubas"). They were born of a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, ...

Big door Fang
African art > Usual african items > Door Fang

Pahouins' artistic productions in African art of Gabon Door and its frame, with a large handle, carved with friezes with faces and figures of ancestors reminiscent of the formal appearance of the reliquary heads of Byeri. These symbolic motives have the value of protection, the deceased being for the Fang peoples, to control the occult powers. Wood dowels fix the panels. The back of the door is equipped with a horizontal bar. The people known as Fang, or "Pahouins", described as conquering warriors, have invaded by successive leaps, from villages to villages, all the way between Sanaga in Cameroon and Ogooue in Gabon, between the eighteenth and the beginning of the 20th century. They never had political unity. Clan cohesion has been maintained through religious and judicial associations ...


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Ibibio Eket crest statue of the Ogbom dance
African art > African Statues > Ibibio figure

African art Eket. This Nigeria's statue, with a loincloth of vegetable fibers and pupils of brass, is established on a base whose perforations of the base make it possible to fix the basketry and the tissues which concealed the dancer. The semi-flexed legs evoke the Mbobo tribal dance of the girls during the Ogbom ceremonies, taking place in front of the altar at the end of the periods of seclusion. The crest masks were then kept near the chimneys of the huts to be protected from insects. Dark, smooth patina, kaolin residue. The Eket, established in the south east of Nigeria, are a subgroup of the Ibibio ethnic group known for its expressive masks. It is a patrilineal society whose villages are ruled by Ekpo Ndem Isong, a group of elders and heads of extended families. Their decisions ...

Yaka Musaw Neck Support
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African art > Usual african items > Yaka neck support

Ex-collection Belgian African art.
This type of neckguard, called musaw or m-baambu, kept in the bedrooms, is one of the objects that incorporates the personal ritual charms of matrilinating leaders and heads of households to preserve their beautiful tribal headdresses. This bird would refer to the stork. Some of these sculptures included magical charges inserted in discrete cavities. Glossy mahogany brown patina. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, the Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the resulting prestige are an opportunity nowadays for the Yaka to invoke ancestors and resort to rituals with charms related to the institution "khosi". The youth initiation society is ...


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Reliquary Fang Byéri
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African art > African Reliquary > Reliquary Fang Byéri

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.
Among the Fangs of Cameroon and those of Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a statue or a head that acted as custodian of the "byi" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the company "So". During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded.
This box is surmounted by a character similar to the keepers of reliquaries. With his legs bent, hands clasped, he rests on a ...


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Toma Landaï mask
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African art > African mask > Toma mask

Ex-collection French African art.
Bush spirits and african masks of Poro rites From the appearance of the Landai African mask, the initiates went to the forest to stay for a month during which they would be taught. At the end of this journey, they will be subjected to a "ritual devouring" followed by a "symbolic rebirth". This heavy mask board with horns has a rectangular front volume surmounting a flat face on which tiny holes form the eyes and mouth. Its surface is embellished with engraved patterns and has a whitish coating that has extinguished the underlying red ocher. The Toma of Guinea, called Loma in Liberia, live in the forest, at altitude. They are famous for their Landaï masks-planks intended to animate the initiatory rites of the poro association which structures their ...


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Zande caryatid stool
African art > African Chair > Zande stool

Ex-collection French African art.
Formerly known as "Niam-Niam" because considered as cannibals, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande, Azande, settled, coming from Chad, on the border of the DRC (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs the man would be endowed with two souls, one of which transforms when he dies as an animal-totem of the clan to which he belongs. A seated figure supports a circular seat glossed by use. The statue with circled eyes of kaolin has a convex abdomen, and a body with somewhat zoomorphic characteristics. Brass nails emphasize the bust and legs. A wide circular base supports everything. The African tribal art of Zande, or "those who own a lot of land", apart from their art of court composed of spoons, receptacles, ...


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490.00

Punu Mask Okuyi
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Punu mask

The dance's masks of Okuyi in African art.
A triangular top hull, chiselled with small braids, composes the hairstyle of the girl represented. Under a bulging forehead one of the eyes is half closed; the delicate nose is subtly carved, and the red-tinted lips line up in relief. "Mabinda" checkered scarification also decorates the forehead and temples. A dark band hemlines the face. Velvety matte patina. The ritual white make-up covering the mask could once have been kaolin mixed with bone powder from crushed dead, especially those of deceased twins. The red when it is present enhances sensory organs or scarifications. The counterparts of Okuyi masks are black-patinated ikwara masks, masks of the night, depicting elderly men or women. The punished masks were exhibited during rituals ...


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Ritual stick Beembé, Babembé
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African art > Usual african items > Ritual stick Beembé, Babembé

Ex-French African art collection.
Can of prestige, this anthropomorphic object accompanied the movements of its owner and was then recorded in the earth. Modelled on a stylized long-form female figure whose arms entwin the lower abdomen, she has a second twin face, separated by a ringed neck, wearing the conical headdress of some Babembé. The object is engraved with intersecting parallel lines, and discontinuous linear motifs evoking ethnic scarifications. Satin-used patina and particularly velvety. Residueof kaolin coatings on faces. Few cracks in desication. Settled in the present-day Republic of Congo, the Beembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, along with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of King ntotela elected by the governors. The ivory ...

Galoa mask, Galwa
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African art > African mask > Galoa mask

African art Galoa.
This shallow African mask has a smooth, velvety surface on which polychrome triangular patterns and kaolin points have been applied. The brow bone, whose rib is outlined in white, overcomes folded eyelids recalling the masks Bakwele and Vuvi. A narrow mouth forms a very slight bulge. This type of mask is used by Okukwé initiates from the Lower Ogoué Lake District to unveil wizards. It is after a divination rite that the mask will proceed to the appointment of the culprit. They were also exhibited at the funeral of chiefs or exceptional events such as the birth of twins. The Galoa (or Galwa), neighboring tribe of Punu, Pounou, live downstream of Lambaréné on the Ogooué River.


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Trunk Lulua, Luluwa, Bwanga bwa cibola
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African art > Usual african items > Lulua Trunk

Ex-collection Belgian African art.
The top of this African trunk with a carrying strap consists of a statuette associated with the bwanga bwa cibola fecundity cult that is also present in neighboring Luba and Songye. These tribal female sculptures were coated with earthy libations before each ritual and then cleaned. Adorned with bracelets and necklaces, motherhood is also endowed with abundant scarification, a common practice at the end of the 19th century in Central Africa. These symbolic motifs are taken up on the walls of the instrument. These marks were signs of beauty with symbolic value, revealing physical and moral qualities out of the ordinary. Indeed, physical beauty, translated by the necessary keloids, went hand in hand with moral integrity, supposed to give children a ...

Baoule Nda two-sided Mask
African art > African mask > Baule mask

Ex-French African art collection.
This two-faced Baoulé African mask that the hairstyles differentiate is carved from a rounded volume. This tribal sculpture evokes the complementarity between man and woman, but also the beneficial one of twins. Mask related to the entertainment ceremonies of the cult ndoma, its surface is covered with a thick scabby patina. The relief marks, ngole, represent the scarification of the ethnic group. These masks portraits of Baoulé, ndoma, which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity to manifest themselves at the end of the entertainment dance ceremonies.The latter are named, according to the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc .... Each of these masks is ...


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350.00

Fetish Songye Nkisi
African art > African fetish > Songye fetish

Songye Nkisi Statue with a nice patina, traces of natural pigmentation. Part on which one finds constant graphics, linear scarifications, stops rectangular and nose in triangle. Originating in Shaba as a Democratic republic of Congo, Songye are related in Luba, with which they divide common ancestors.


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450.00

Ligbi/Djimini du Dô Siginkuru-Ayna Mask
African art > Puppets > Ligbi/Djimini du Dô Siginkuru-Ayna Mask

The African masks and Muslim influence


established in Côte d'Ivoire, but also in Ghana, the Ligbi, Islamized, however, were influenced by the Senufo tribal sculpture, since they instructed Senufo or Mande to carve their The Djimini, meanwhile, are Senoufo people living in the Dabakala region, which is why their masks linked to the do society, whose dances were generally supervised by the Ligbi, are marked by these reciprocal influences. Masked tradition, shared by the Djimini, was preserved to be manifested during the religious festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid el Kebir (sheep festival) accompanied by sacrifices and songs, and symbolizing in this way the breaking of fasting Just before the festivities, if necessary, the mask will be repainted and thus coated with koro, ...

Yoruba Cutting Carrier
African art > African Statues > Yorouba statue

Cutting carriers in nigeria's traditional African art. The statue of priestess of Orunmila, an evocation of motherhood and fertility, sits and supports a cut adorned with faces and topped with a volatile. Faces such as masks usually represent the god of divination, while the bird would also symbolize the occult universe.
Dark saatin patina. Light polychrome residue on the lid. The Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While men's society egbe reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. The gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables come together in a society called usu . Offering cups, some of which were used to preserve kola nuts or other gifts for visitors, were once placed in the royal palaces of the Ekiti and Igbomina ...


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440.00

Crest Ekoi/Ejagham Mask
African art > African mask > Crest Ekoi/Ejagham Mask

This type of African cephalomorphic mask, which would represent the trophy head of an enemy, is found among the Efik, Keaka, Banyang, Boki, Ibibio, etc. ...

Originally from Calabar, these African masks were originally produced by the Ekoi (Ejagham) and were transported throughout the Cross River region of southeastern Nigeria, and from the 17th century local people were influenced by Europe through the commercial transactions and the naturalism of their sculptures. The base of a cylindrical basketry base is a wooden head covered with animal skin, originally a human skull, and having a hairstyle in which human hair has been fixed with the aid of A vegetable glue, the open mouth is deeply hollow, which could allow the ritual insertion of magical substances.The whole was coated ...


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350.00

Songye Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask > Songye Mask

Ex-French African art collection.
This african mask songye, the kikashi , has protruding eyes, hollowed out, stretched towards the temples and an absent naso-frontal crest. The tubular mouth has an opening. Parallel streaks are dug on the surface of the wood, symbolizing plumage and the link with death. The spectacular effect is reinforced by the white/red bichromy, which is nevertheless worn out by time. Areas of abrasion and minor gaps are noteworthy. Three variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "Chasing the mort" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or absent, and finally the largest embodying the (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to originate from the adjacent area ...


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Dogon Kanaga Mask
African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

African art among the Dogon
In funeral rites, members of the society Awa , dance with masks on the roof of the house of the dead, to lead his soul (nyama) to his eternal rest and to defend the living. The Kanaga mask is also used to protect hunters from revenge from the prey he has killed. This copy is designed after a recurring structure: a vertical central plank with "double arms" securely secured by leather straps, and whose ends are directed upwards and downwards. Geometric patterns with dark pigments are painted on its surface, sharpened with the underlying whitish coat. The conical mouth is reminiscent of a bird's beak. Dry, grainy and matte surface. In the pre-opening to the funeral or during the bereavement, many almost identical copies appear on the dance area, after ...


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380.00

Kongo Yombé Mvwala Ivory Cane Summit
African art > African Statues > Ivory Kongo

Statues and power objects in African art Kongo
This African ivory sculpture produced by the Yombé, from the Kongo kingdom, depicts a diginitary revealing its traditionally lemoned teeth by chewing a sacred plant with virtues hallucinogens, the munkwisa , which would symbolize the power of the leader and his ability to communicate with the founding ancestors. It also has a cure horn. Ivory skated. This statuette, the top of a fly-hunting or cane mvwala of Kongo incorporated the regal, prestigious objects of the chiefs, and ensured the legitimacy of its holder by its codified ornamentation. Acquired by Guy Mercier, consultant for the Solvay Group, which began collecting a vast collection of African tribal art at the beginning of the 20th century. While radiating in West and Central ...

Yoruba cutting statue
African art > African Statues > Statue Yoruba

Votive sculptures and African art among the Yoruba
This tribal figure would represent an initiate kneeling in a position of devotion and whose offering cup contains benefits ready to be dispensed . The emblem of the god of lightning and social justice, Shango , consists of a set of stone axes that he is supposed to throw from the sky during storms. The deities of the rivers are also represented by stones and by the water of the rivers associated with them. The headdress would represent, in a stylized way, the stone axes would signal the connection between the male sky and the female earth, while the raised upper chest symbolizes fertility. A reference to the grouse, in connection with the Yoruba religious myths of the Baba Ibeji , is also linked to this attribute. The red of the ...


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240.00





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