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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.

Yaka figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yaka figure

Ex Belgian African art collection.
These tribal statues, ritual charms belonging to the lineages and providing protection against enemies, were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's patron. These sculptures were then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas, and additions in the form of talismans. The headdress is that of the earth chiefs, the nose has a characteristic snub nose shape. These sculptures were often hung in the huts. Medium brown satin patina. Fissure of desiccation, erosions. 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 ...


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180.00

Markha mask of Ntomo
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Markha Mask

This mask with a slender jaw has a rectangular nasal ridge surmounting a narrow prominent mouth. Specificity of the sculptures marka, metal in the form of sheets highlighting the volumes of the face, is embellished with parallel strokes and punctuated with dotted lines. Speckled and matte patina, velvety. Slightly oxidized metal.
br>In African art, the Marka , Maraka en Bamana, Warka, or Sarakolé, are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, settled in southern Niger, scattered since the end of the Ghana Empire in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. They now speak bamana and have adopted much of the Bambara traditions, such as Ntomo and Koré , initiation societies that used masks during their ceremonies. The sculptors of African art Bambara and Marka are part of the Numuw , who are not ...


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Tabwa Mipasi figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tabwa figure

Ex-German African art collection. African statuette with linear scarifications composed of small checkerboards, and a headdress chiseled with rhombuses. The position is frontal, half-bent legs anchored on a circular base, the hands resting on either side of a prominent umbilicus, enhancing the lineage of the ancestor represented. Semi-satin orange-brown patina. Desiccation cracks.
The Tabwa ("scarify" and "write") are an ethnic group found in southeastern DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Tribes in this region, such as the Tumbwe , worship ancestors mipasi through carvings held by chiefs or sorcerers. Simple cultivators with no centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their ...


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100.00

Baule/Yaure mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Moon mask

Appearing today at celebrations associated with the Gbagba dance, this African mask integrates the set of masks associated with natural phenomena, such as the setting sun, the rainbow and the moon, and "warms up" the scene before the appearance of more important masks. This circular mask with a thin decorative border shows a serene face with a delicately carved three-lobed headdress. The forehead, the seat of intelligence and wisdom, is highlighted. The half-closed eyes, where kaolin remains, accentuate the concentration of the physiognomy. Smooth patina, satin, dark brown with residual ochre incrustations. Cracks of desiccation. The African art of the Baule, an Akan group established in the southeast of the Ivory Coast, includes a wide range of masks renowned for their ...


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Baoulé Moon Mask /Yohouré
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baule Mask

Appearing today during celebrations associated with the Gbagba dance, this African mask incorporates the set of masks associated with natural phenomena, such as the setting sun, the rainbow and the moon, and the stage before the appearance of larger masks. This circular mask with a thin decorative border offers a serene face with a delicately engraved three-lobed headdress. The front, seat of intelligence and wisdom, is highlighted. The half-closed eyes reinforce the interiority of the expression. Smooth, satin, dark brown patina with residual inlays.br-The African art of the Baoulé, Akan group established in the south-east of Côte d'Ivoire, features a wide range of masks renowned for their quality, finesse and symmetry. On the one hand, these African masks transposing the main facial ...


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Lega figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure

The African art of the Lega, Balega, or even Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, sometimes made in ivory.
A series of orifices punctuate the bust of this Bwami teaching statuette called Mr. Sleeping Mat ("Art of the Lega," E.L.Cameron). "Mat" means a mat, doormat, which would have been eaten away by red ants. Moreover, the object would represent, in the Lega thought, the result of the sexual libertinage in the society. The head presents the lega typology, face in heart. Matt patina pigmented with white clay.
This type of statuette Iginga (Maginga in the plural), was the property of the high ranking members of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life . This organization was subdivided into initiatory ...


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180.00

Kete Kuba Nyita Mask, Ngita
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Cuba

Songye, Kete and Kuba influences mingle on this African hem mask associated with funeral rites. The horns refer to the braids that the notables wore in some tribes of Zaire, including the Kuba. The projection mouth, the oblique parallel stripes, the metal applications, are part of the peculiarities of the Songye Kifwebe masks ("boismasks"). A graphic made up of contrasting geometric patterns, combined with a mnemonic coded system, adorns the surface of the mask. Localized abrasions and dessication cracks are apparent. Restorations on the horns. The Kete, established between the Luba and Songye, mingled with the Kuba and Tschokwe and derive their livelihood from hunting, net fishing, and agriculture. Their matrilineal society worships nature spirits named mungitchi. Believing in ...


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Kongo Phemba Maternity
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue of Congo

A subgroup of the Kongo , the Yombe, based on the west coast of Africa, in the south-west of the Republic of Congo and in Angola, are characterized by a statuary in which various figures of motherhood abound: round headdresses or pointed, mouth open on slender teeth, sometimes glazed gaze in which the pupils are clearly visible, characters kneeling, standing, sitting. Relief scarifications adorn the bust of the effigies, such as the bust of this Phemba statue. These cuts, made using needles, knives and razors, were then sprayed with coal or ash to accelerate healing. The mother sits in a suit on a circular base, an infant on her lap. The distinctive elements of the Kongo are the cheffal cap "mpu", the wearing of bracelets and a band compressing the chest. This mediating object was used ...


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240.00

Maternity Kongo Yombe Pfemba
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African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Phemba Statue

Sculpture Kongo realistic type, named Phemba or Pfemba, she embodies the ancestor of the clan, female figure mediator. Children would embody the matrilineal transmission of power. Scarifications dot his bust. The Yombe adorned their textiles, mats and loincloths, with diamonds in relation to proverbs glorifying work and social unity. The mouth reveals traditionally lined teeth, the gaze evokes the ability of the ancestor to discern occult things. Smooth black skate with grenats.br/>Clan reflections of the Kongo group, the Yombe established on the west coast of Africa, in the south-west of the Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternity. The use of this type of sculpture remains unknown.
Shach the Kongo, nganga was in charge of the rituals by ...

Slingshot Baule
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Baoule Sling

Anthropomorphic slingshot featuring a woman sitting on a chair. This sculpture is distinguished by its fine details. Smooth golden patina and satin finish.
About sixty ethnic groups inhabit the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, in the center, Akans from Ghana, people of the savannah, practicing hunting and agriculture just like the Gouro from whom they borrowed their ritual cults and sculpted masks. Two types of statues are produced by the Baoule, Baulé, in the ritual framework: The Waka-Sona statues, "wooden being" in Baoule, evoke an Assi oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium by the Komien diviners, who are selected by the asye usu spirits to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues are ...


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65.00

Lobi Slingshot
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Lobi Slingshot

The carved pattern of this Lobi object is supposed to contain the "khele", a power present in every human being and which, following the death of an individual or an animal, must be mastered in order not to harm. Golden brown patina, shiny. Cracks.
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped together under the name "Lobi", form one fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. Although they are not very numerous in Ghana, they have also settled in the north of the Ivory Coast. In the late 18th century, the Lobi came from northern Ghana and settled among the indigenous Thuna and Puguli, the Dagara, Dian, Gan and Birifor. The Lobi believe in a creator God named Thangba Thu, to whom they turn through the worship of numerous intermediate spirits, the Thil, who are supposed to ...


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65.00

Suku/Yaka statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Suku statue

Tribal statue bearing the Kongo influence and whose prognathic face is propelled forward. It is also distinguished by the absence of forearms and its snub nose. In addition to their nkisi fetishes, Suku chiefs made use of fetishes named bwene , bisungu representing the clan ancestor.
Glossy patina, missing.
The Suku and Yaka ethnic groups, very close geographically in the southwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, have the same social and political structure as well as similar cultural practices. They can only be differentiated by their stylistic variations. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs with the right of life and death over their subjects. The youth initiation society is the n-khanda, ...


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340.00

Sculpture in stone Zimba
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Zimba head


Like the Legas, the Zimbas have sculptures for educational purposes associated with initiation rites. They can also conjure up sayings. This face with sockets encrusted with cowry shells is also capped with seashells indicating a crested hairstyle. Satin-grained surface.
The Zimba , also called Binja , are close neighbors of the Lega of the Pangi and Shabunda region in the DRC. Subject to Lega influence, they share some institutional similarities with the Lega and the Luba. Whether they live in the forest or in the savannah, the symbolism of their art and the rituals are associated with hunting which is of major importance. On the other hand, they are patrilineal groups which have ended up supplanting the matrilineal organization of their society. Like the Lega, the ...


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390.00

Mossi anthropomorphic slingshot
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Mossi slingshot

African art among the Mossi. Rare doll statuette whose Y-shaped head could be used as a slingshot. This type of object was used by children to hunt small game or birds. The female figure is indeed represented with two traditional Mossi whistles, additional tools for hunting. She is also wearing the Mossi ethnic scarifications, a ringed neck whose waist bears the striated replica. Very nice old patina. Excellent condition.
Wooden dolls (biiga ), carved in their spare time by the blacksmiths of Burkina Faso,are offered to girls, as well as boys, by their parents. The Mossi who are better off, on the other hand, buy plastic dolls. In the event that the girl does not give birth, a larger doll is carved to treat her as a real newborn. The doll will not be abandoned after the ...


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380.00

 Chokwe Mukishi wa Cihongo mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chokwe mask

Among the many African akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of Chokwe African tribal art, the powerful male counterpart of the Mwana Pwo mask is the cihongo . These miniature masks are worn on costumes or initiation headdress.
The characteristic patterns present on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the Chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurring cruciform frontal motif is also thought to have cosmogonic significance. Always worn by dancers of royal blood, this mask incarnating a spirit symbolizes power and wealth. It was also sometimes used during judgments. Brown satin patina, cracks. The masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are called "makishi" (sing. ...


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175.00

Chokwe Cihongo Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe Mask

br>In the many African masks akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) of African tribal art Chokwe, the powerful male counterpart of the Mwana Pwo mask is the cihongo . These masks are danced by itinerant professionals. The characteristic motifs on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic significance. Always worn by dancers of royal blood, this mask embodying a spirit symbolizes power and wealth. He also intervened, at times, on occasion judgments. Dark patina maten, abrasions and cracks of desication.
The masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are named in Zambia as 'makishi' (sing. ...


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175.00

Fertility figure Sukuma / Nyamwezi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Sukuma

A gourd draped in animal skin and fur, trimmed with cords, serves as an abdomen for the çi-contre statuette, originating from the inner region of Tanzania.This rare sculpture-fetish embodying an ancestor extols fertility by this bulging body, and the hands of the character placed around the umbilical. Oiled red brown patina.
In the southern region of Tanzania's coastline, around Dar-es-Salam, a relatively homogeneous group produced most of the artistic productions. It includes Swahili, Kaguru, Doé, Kwéré, Luguru, Zaramo, Kami. The second region is a territory covering southern Tanzania as far as Mozambique, home to some Makonde and Yao, Ngindo, Mwéra, and Makua. In northeastern Tanzania, the Chaga, Paré, Chamba, Zigua, Maasai, Iraqw, Gogo, and Hehe have an artistic production with ...

Male effigy Nyamézi, Nyamwezi
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Nyamézi

Ex- african art collection form Luxemburg.
This human figure of long morphology offers a proportionally reduced head, in which hollowed-out eyes were generally encrusted with white beads. The size of the ears contrasts with a discreet appearance where the jaw forms a slight bulge. This type of statues, among the wide variety of tribal production of this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional Seeker activities. Smooth and sainy patina revealing the veining of the wood, range of hot browns. Lacks, cracks.
The nyamwézi are made up of tribes of various origins that make up the most guarded group in central Tanzania, yet share the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their ...

Gouro/Kweni Zauli mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Gouro mask

This African mask of the Gouro, Kwen, or Kweni, combining animal elements, is the Gyela lu Zauli. It was used during funerals, political gatherings and entertainment ceremonies.
Splits, abrasions.
Among the Mande group in the south, in central Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama River, the Gouro are organized into lineages, and are the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several features of their African tribal art creations. Animists, they have used a family of masks associated with the Zaouli dance since the 1950s. These masks are owned by families practicing lineage ancestor worship, who use them ritually and sacrificially to attract divine blessings. Priest and diviner share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. The secret ...


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190.00

Ashanti Akua ba doll
African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Fertility wishes in African art Ashanti.
This stylized female figure, called Akua'ba (plural Akua'mma), has features peculiar to Ashanti dolls, generally devoid of legs: flat, circular head surmounting a cylindrical bust framed by horizontal arms. Fine colored bead necklaces contrast with the satin black patina. Erosions.
These stylized wooden effigies were worn by pregnant women, clasped in their loincloths, to ensure the arrival of healthy children. The overwhelming majority of these statues have female attributes.

The Ashanti are one of the ethnic groups of Ghana (formerly the "Gold Coast"), part of the Akan group, inhabiting a region covered by forests. Like other populations living in the central and southern part of Ghana, they speak a language of ...


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150.00

Lega Bwami mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Fine, delicate features for this Lega mask featuring half-closed coffee bean eyelids and a slightly domed, half-open mouth. The whitish kaolin coating is partially flaked. Velvety surface.
Height on base: 36 cm.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society open to men and women,organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda during the seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega , these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, the men hunt and clear ...


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100.00





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