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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.

Altar figure Dogon Tellem
African art > African Statues > Statue Dogon

Ex-french African art collection.
This dogon tribal altar figure is part of a set patiently collected by a dogon art enthusiast. Two stylized characters, oblong in shape, overlap on what could also constitute a scepter in view of the conical base. Piece with his certificate, acquired in 2009, ex-collection Walter Finn. A patina of use, grey in colour, takes on the object. It has eroded parts and desication cracks, a lack at the top. Room on wooden pedestal. The southern plateau overlooking the Bandiagara cliff has been occupied since the 10th century by the Tellem and Niongom. They were then displaced by the Dogon in the 15th century, who fled the Mandé. The Tellem became the ancestors of the Kurumba of Burkina Faso.
The statuary dogon is not easily distinguished from that of ...

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Dege Dogon Statue
African art > African Statues > Dege Dogon Statue

Ex-collection of African art SEM Lamine Aidara Worn on the head at the funeral of women, these statues could be seen by the public.

Apart of the ceremonies, they remained in the custody of the dean of women. angular shapes, sitting on a four-legged stool, it evokes the female ancestor and is invoked for the purpose of fertility.The erect chest, the slightly rounded belly, and the infants it presents, clearly illustrate the motherhood. wood in which it has been carved has been subjected to xylophagous attacks, the rough patina is dull Indigenous repair of the base using a metal clip Carved mostly on order placed by a family, the Dogon statues may also be the object of worship by the whole community when they commemorate, for example, the foundation of the village, but their ...

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Ritual cup Yoruba
objet vendu
African art > African Jar > Ritual cup Yoruba

Ex-collection of French-African art Predominant in Yoruba art, the rider's theme refers to the cavalry of the Oyo Empire (1680-1830) located between Nigeria and the Republic of Benin, its primary function being to To exalt and celebrate the power of the king, the Oyo created two cults centered on the still active Egungun and Sango societies, which worship their gods through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, scepters and divination supports.

of its gods, or ory, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures, including prestigious objects, with coded messages (aroko) .The statues are supports of the spirits, facilitating the intercession with the supreme god Olodumare. Surrounded by his subjects, evocations of fecundity and ancestors, erected on a discoid base, the ...

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Wurkun/ jukun/ Kutep horizontal crescent mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Wurkun/ jukun/ Kutep horizontal crescent mask

African art in the Benoué Valley, tributary of the Niger River

Due to the expansion of the former Jukun Empire, the Jukun or Wurbo of Nigeria split into two groups: one established south of the Donga River and the second north of the region near Mumuye. and Wurkum. The attacks of the Chamba first, then of the Fulani, contributed to the extinction of this kingdom. Their king Aka uku, considered semi-diviner, is also their intermediary with the royal ancestors, through rituals including the sacrifice of the king in case of plague or bad harvest. The southern Jukun have a tradition of masks, including the akuma male mask associated with the cult of the same name and of which four types were listed by A.Rubin. Statues are rare, and belong to the widespread cult of mam in ...

Janiform Mumuye Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Janiform Mumuye Statue

The Mumuye in African Art South of the Benue River, in a region of difficult access that isolated them until 1950, are established the Mumuye, which are organized into family groups called dola.Their iagalagana statues were stored in a box reserved for this purpose, while another box, java, housed an individual with magical powers and surrounding himself with ritual objects related to his function and prestige.The characteristics of Mumuye figures which often erroneously attributed to the neighboring Chamba, are recognizable thanks to the cylindrical body, to the space formed by the disposition of the arms around the bust, with squat legs, and, in the majority of the cases, by the stylized cap with side sides. from the bust in two similar faces.The massive legs are supported by a strongly ...

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Songye reliquary basket
African art > African Reliquary > Songye reliquary basket

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.

In the centre of the room, there is a songye statuette with a face reminiscent of Kifwebe masks. This facies is also similar to that very geometric of some Nkisi protective fetishes.
The statuette is attached to a small terracotta clask itself placed among a multitude of offerings and libations accompanying a tangle of materials and strings.

The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magic charge.
Very present in their society, divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.

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Osé Sango Yoruba Scepter
African art > Usual african items > Osé Sango Yoruba Scepter

Ex-collection of Italian-African art

- Figure of adept of the god Sango, carried with the left hand during the ritual dances, it is topped with the double ax representing the axes of stone that the god would precipitate on the ground during the storms. The physiognomy is characteristic of Yoruba art, distinguished by the large almond-shaped eyes and the scarification of the cheeks, which represent, through their headdress, the god of thunder and youth Shango, or Sango. The mythical ancestor of the kings of Oyo, he was also the protector of the twins, whose occurrence was very frequent in the region. The Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. The men's society egbe strengthens the social norms, the aro federates the farmers. The freeze ...

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Ewe voodoo basket
African art > Usual african items > Ewe voodoo basket

Ex collection Belgian African art.

The basket has in its center a small altar for Mami Wata who is an ewe deity, mother goddess of the waters. We can find larger and more colorful representations reminiscent of mermaids in our culture. In the terracotta basket, around the central stage, a multitude of offerings are visible and libations accompany this tangle of materials and strings.

The Ewe, often confused with the Minas, are the most important ethnic group in Togo. They are also found as minorities in Ghana, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria.
Although little historical information is available about them, it seems that their location in their present location is the result of invasions and conflicts that erupted during the 17th century.

The Ewe ...

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Statue of Igbo divinity
African art > African Statues > Statue of Igbo divinity

Ex-collection of English-African art

The Igbo venerate a considerable number of deities known as alusi, or agbara, considered to be the descendants of Chuku, or Chukwu, and as such are intermediaries to whom sacrifices such as that kola nuts, silver, kaolin, are granted in order to enjoy their favors.These sculptures produced in several regions range from about forty centimeters to a human size, and are adorned with aristocratic attributes more or less elaborate.The sculptors turn out to be men, but female followers often contribute by completing the work with colored pigments.In the case of the statue presented, articulated arms, when they were positioned horizontally, indicated the will to receive the offering of the adepts, and integumentary headdress and ornaments ...

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Baoulé Ndoma Mask
African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

Ex-collection Swiss African art.
Odential African mask Baoulé, known as portrait mask or Ndoma, it depicts a face lacquered in bright red in which slice the scarifications painted in black. At the central hull, oblong, finely braided hairstyle comes to combine a goatee under the chin. 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, ...

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Bobo Fing Newenka Mask
African art > African mask > Bobo Fing Newenka Mask

Variant of the African mask Bobo Fing Newenka, also borrowing features of the mask kellé, it is characterized by a zoomorphic head whose horns are based on a panel.

This voluminous copy was carried exclusively by the members of the caste of blacksmiths During the mourning ceremonies, to accompany the deceased to his ultimate residence, the volta.At the moment the eyes of the mask were hollowed out, always starting with the left eye, the spiritual incarnation came alive in the The upper part of the mask, in a crescent, represents the flight of a bird, locally matted patina, crusty residues, drying fissures, and old polychrome motifs are faintly visible on the crest, libation coatings were probably applied for new ceremonies Mandingo people, most of whom live in eastern Burkina ...

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Kongo Statue
African art > African Statues > Kongo Statue

Ex Belgian art collection.

This particular monoxyle piece is composed of a character whose feet are derived from a circular base keeping him in balance. At the back of the room is a large board to which the character seems tied by ties around the neck and ankles. The character is endowed with impressive and expressive facial features, in particular his fleshy open mouth revealing thick teeth. This statue could represent a convict at a judicial ceremony. In the thirteenth century, the Kongo people, led by his king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads between the current DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity. Although monarchical, the Kongo political system presented a ...

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Fang Ngil Mask
African art > African mask > Fang Ngil Mask

This ancient African mask was acquired from the Kunst aus Afrika gallery in Germany by a French African art collector. The use of contrasting white patina, of which there are still some traces, and well-preserved light red, distinguishes it from the usually monochrome examples. The criteria that are the high eyebrows in the heart, incisions for the look, small mouth pout in a prognathic chin, allow to classify it as belonging to the African masks of Ngil. An indigenous repair was carried out at the top using a wicker strap. The surface is particularly eroded and testifies to the use that has been made of it. The Fang masks of the associations of So (red antelope) and Ngil (gorilla) providing a judicial function, highlighted by the severity of the protruding eyebrows and the tiny incisions ...

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Cut Lualua anthropomorphe
African art > African Statues > Cut Lualua anthropomorphe

The different types of statues Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua, with multiple scarifications, glorify local leaders, motherhood, fertility and the female figure.By the position of the hands this character highlights a prominent abdomen, striated , center of the body and " object of all the solicitudes " (The power of the sacred, Mr. Faïk-Nzuji) Rhombuses, erogenous and erogenous scarifications, checkered circles and rectangles, embellish strategic parts of his anatomy A conical top appendage representing a high braid rises at the level of the fontanelle Gray granular patina whose localized erosions reveal a light wood It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo that the Lulua settled, or Bena Lulua, from West Africa, whose social structure, based on caste, is similar to that ...

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Ancestor Téké-Yansi Butti s statue
African art > African Statues > Ancestor Téké-Yansi Butti's statue

This ex-Tek-Yansi ancestor statue, in a dance position, with half-bent legs, right-angled right-arm attached to the bust, has a quadrangular recessed abdomen in which relics or magical load (bilongo) were arranged, residues made up of birds' feathers and twigs lined its internal walls, a mirror, now absent, had to seal this cavity, traditional scarification, in parallel grooves (mabina) covering its face. , are coated with white clay.Instituting a powerful character, warrior, nganga, hunter emeritus, or family ancestor, this tribal statue was honored as part of the family cult.Cracked plasters.Drying cracks.Installed between the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon, the Teke were organized into chieftaincies whose chief was often chosen from blacksmiths. had ...

Statuette Dogon Tellem
African art > African Statues > Statuette Dogon Tellem

This statue of African art is part of a collection patiently collected by a dogon art enthusiast. All in front, this African tribal statue positioned standing half-flexed legs on a circular base adopts arms raised, palms joined facing forward. Her crenellated crest hairstyle prolongs her nose soaring. At the top of the head a hole was practiced. An old chipped patina, grey in colour, coats this object that has been visibly subjected to ritual libations. The object has eroded parts and desication cracks.
The southern plateau overlooking the Bandiagara cliff has been occupied since the 10th century by the Tellem and Niongom. They were then displaced by the Dogon in the 15th century, who fled the Mandé. The Tellem became the ancestors of the Kurumba of Burkina Faso.
The statuary ...

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Couple of large leopards Benin Bini Edo
objet vendu
African art > African bronze > Couple of large leopards Benin Bini Edo

Bronze in the African art of the Benin Kingdom
Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of kings, the Oba , was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes glorifying them were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, hairs and recades were produced in quantity in many workshops of smelters according to the technique of cast iron with lost wax. The killing of the king of animals associated with the legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the worship of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, he ...

Gurunsi zoomorphic Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Gurunsi zoomorphic Mask

"African art and gurunsi zoomorphic figures African Gurunsi masks are famous in African art for their extremely stylized zoomorphic representations.

They are decorated with geometric patterns usually contrasted with kaolin and other pigments. This copy would be a lion mask surmounted by a female figure in a prayer position. Its surface bears traces of kaolin and reddish pigments. These globular-eyed masks, depicting bush spirits, came out during ritual dances and were worn by members of the village equipped with integral plant fiber garments that covered the body. The ritual was to bring fertility and prosperity to the village, provided it was properly performed. These masks were also used during funeral ceremonies of notables, to celebrate the passage of initiatory grades ...

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Dogon Altar Figure
African art > African Statues > Dogon Altar Figure

African art and statues Dogon
Juché on a circular base, the figure with the raised arm adopts the attitude of call to the distinctive rain of the statues of Tintam, from the northeastern region of the plateau that dominates the cliffs of Bandiagara. The breasts evoke those of Nommo, the mythical ancestor, allegory of fertility. Abrus seeds, dotted on the base, are agglomerated by crusty libatory residues, which also suggest an underlying pattern composed of cauris. Visible drips. Dry crusty skate. According to the dogon cosmogon, the first primordial ancestors of the Dogon, called Nommo , were the bisexual gods of water. They were created in heaven by the creator Amma and descended from heaven to earth in an ark. The Nommo founded the eight dogon lineages and instilled weaving, the ...

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Figures of altar polychromatic Yoruba
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Figures of altar polychromatic Yoruba

African art and Yoruba statuary.

Centered on the veneration of its gods, or ora, Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages. (Aroko). These spirits are supposed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare. This altar facilitates communication with the afterlife and shows, standing on a discoid pedestal, the goddess of the earth Onile (" owner of the House "), guarantor of longevity, peace, and resources, and linked to the powerful Ogboni society among the Yoruba Egba and Ijebu. In one hand she holds a scepter based on a miniature subject, on the other she supports a second female figure, deified ancestor or orisha, one of the 400 gods of the Yoruba pantheon and who could find her equivalence among Christian Saints. The latter presents what could be a ...

Reliquary anthropomorphe Urhobo
African art > African Jar > Reliquary anthropomorphe Urhobo

Ex-collection French African Art This reliquary box in the shape of a character represents Owedjebo, ancestor founder, accompanied by his wife and their child.

It is part of the tutelary statues of Eherhe clan Agbon. The statues are two-tone black / white to symbolize the power of the ancestral figure. On the head, the character as well as the small lateral figures wear a headdress in the shape of a hat, symbol of their high rank. There is a thick layer of kaolin on the body and face. The lines, and in particular the mouth, strongly contrast by the addition of dark pigment. A small front door opens onto a tooth-shaped cavity in which traces of relics can be seen.

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