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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.

Wé Guéré Mask
African art > African mask > Guéré Mask

A thick necklace of fabric, raffia and wooden fangs unfolds under this Guéré Wé mask, an ethnic group in western Côte d'Ivoire. Half-closed bulbous eyelids above tubular elements, a protruding forehead flanked by red horns, a camus nose, a large mouth trimmed with metallic teeth, form the exuberant distinctive features of this tribal art piece of the Wé, an ethnic group in western Côte d'Ivoire. Animal hair forms the mustache and hairs mingle with a clay coat on the surface around the organs.
The Wé have produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , to the north, and the Wé of the south (group Krou including Guéré, the Wobé of the northeast and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), have used frequent borrowings due to their proximity. The ...


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230.00

Large cut Kuba Lele cephalomorph
African art > Usual african items > Coupe Cuba

Among the prestigious objects, this palm wine cup whose handles are made up of the braids of the hairstyle of the carved effigy also has an anthropomorphic posterior handle. The flared base of the object is formed from the neck. The sculpted face has similarities with the features of large royal masks, Kuba. Checkerboard and diamond engravings complete the ornamentation. Patine mate abrasée.br-The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the high ranks of their society. Several Kuba groups produced anthropomorphic objects with refined motifs, including cups, drinking horns and cups. The Lele are established to the west of the Kuba kingdom, at the confluence of the Kasai and Bashilele rivers.The intercultural exchanges between the Bushoongs of Kuba ...


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130.00

Volet Dogon
African art > Door shutter > Volet Dogon

The systems of closure of Sudanese regions in African art.
This flap is made up of a carved panel. The motifs are associated with the rich Cosmogon Dogon. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. The conical elements evoke human and agrarian fertility. Skate mate. Abrasions and cracks.
The motifs on the doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to deter the intruder, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks and doors are cut from woods chosen according to the function of the building in which they will be used, because each plant is attributed to particular virtues.


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150.00

Ivory Coast Monkey Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
This sacred African mask, of conjuring, comes from one of the many Baoulé cults that would include seven masks.  It is the powerful embodiment of a force being U-002amwin".  This mask could be related to harvest ceremonies.  Animal masks always accompanied the portrait masks.
This model has a plastron trimmed with raffia fibers that concealed the ties of the dancer's costume.
According to the mythology baoulé , a royal ancestor had to sacrifice his son to cross a river. This event is the origin of the name of the Baoulé , Bauli ,"The son died". They make up the majority of Côte d'Ivoire's population. Artists of African art have produced very elegant and diverse works, including many masks.  There are also so-called "entertainment masks ...


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Dogon Mask
African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

This African Dogon mask is one of the many stylistic variations of dogon masks, icons of dogon tribal art. Angular features, a soaring nose, hollowed-out triangle eyes, protruding lips, and a cephalomorphic crest, cut from dense, grainy wood that bears the imprint of time and the various libations administered to it.
The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger Loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). Villages are often perched atop the scree at the edge of the hills, according to a unique architecture. The history of migration and the facilities of the Dogon (about ten ...


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180.00

Dogon couple figures in bronze
African art > African bronze > Bronze Dogon

Silhouettes of longiform African art, tribal-inspired, standing on a pedestal. These African statues Dogon, in bronze, evoke the Nommos, the origin of the creation among the Dogon of Mali. Recalling also the sculptures of the famous Giacometti, they are represented in the position of invocation, arms raised to the sky. Their surface is punctuated by a succession of notches. Warm orange skate. The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, esotericism, myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger Loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). Villages are often perched atop the scree at the edge of the hills, according to a unique architecture. ...


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480.00

Fertility doll Ashanti Akuaba
objet vendu
African art > African Dolls > statue Ashanti

Ex-collection French African art.
Akuaba doll statuettes (plural Akua'mma) are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. They are easily identifiable by their structure. Their circular head has a high forehead occupying the upper part, the lines usually appear in the lower third of the head. The latter is carried by a small cylindrical body whose arms develop at a right angle. The legs are absent, the trunk integrating directly into a slightly wider base.
Oiled Black Skate. Visible usage marks. These people consider women to be the final arbiter of all decisions. Fertility and children are the most common themes mentioned in Ashanti wood carvings. This ethnic group has built a relatively democratic society based on the moral value of the individual. The Ashanti ...

Bemba zoomorphic mask
African art > African mask > Bemba Mask

The zoomorphic masks of the Bemba, Babemba, Wemba, or Mubemba (not to be confused with the Bembé of eastern R.D.C.) are preserved by hunter societies and exhibited during agrarian festivities and rites. The Bemba, from Maniema, claim to be of Luba origin and have settled on the shores of Lake Moero, near Zambia, and Lake Tanganyka. During the 19th century, the Bemba participated in the slave trade by allying with the slave king Msiri. Colonial politics dispersed them in the 20th century. Their leader now reigns in Kasama, Zambia, they believe in a supreme god, Lesa, worship nature spirits, Ngulu, a snake named lunga, and mythical ancestors. Their very diverse art was influenced by that of their neighbors, Luba, Lunda, Tabwa, Nyamwezi.Their statues present aberousal scarifications running ...


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450.00

Statue singe Baule Aboya /Mbotumbo
African art > African Statues > Baule Monkey

This cynocephalic monkey with a crossed hands has a stretched bust worn by stocky lower limbs. The figure is frozen in an attitude of supplication. There are several representations of the same type, with different names depending on the use that is made of them. They were mistakenly named Gbékré (mouse) because of Delafosse's misunderstanding of two cults" (Boyer, "Baulé" 5Continents). Often linked to the cult Mbra of divination and possession, they belong to the group of "êtres-force" or amwin , intermediaries between God and men and given to the Baoulé by their Creator, as well as the sacred masks whose wide gaping jaw they share. It would also be a minor deity named barked . Erosions, cracks. Aimed at propitiatory purposes, these sculptures amwin or objects of power, were to ...


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390.00

Senoufo Poniugo Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

Representations of hybrid beings, the zoomorphic African masks of Senufo are worn by members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honor the elders or to appear at funerals, hence their name, poniugo , Kponiougo , "funeral head". Multiple zoomorphic elements are usually associated, crocodile mouth, antelope horns, warthog and ram. The Senoufo , a name given to them by French settlers, are mostly made up of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo . Each of them has its own association Poro which introduces young boys ...


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Coupe de divination Agere Ifa en bronze
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Bronze Yoruba

Ex-English African art collection.
Within the Yoruba pantheon, Orunmila is the deity "orisa" that is consulted in case of problems through divination ifà . Intended to sit on the altar of the god, this bronze sculpture consists of a cup containing sacred palm nuts and a seated anthropomorphic figure pulling two strings, another element also used by the soothsayer babalawo (iyanifà for a woman), in divination processes, when they are not " chains opele ". The character could reflect the incarnation of Esu or Elegba, a divine messenger who unites the orisa with men. Focused on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the religion yoruba relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages ( aroko). They are designed by sculptors at the request of followers, soothsayers and their customers. ...

Kalabari Ijio ancestor screen
African art > Door shutter > Kalabari screen

With Ijos living mainly from fishing and agriculture on Nigeria's southern coast, and their small villages in swampy areas west of the Nun River, their cosmogony naturally centred around this environment. References to their warand and commercial past abound in reliquaries, rituals and masked celebrations. The tops associated with Western trading partners have become leader badges. Thus this couple carved in high relief on this panel embodies ancestors. This sculpture reigned in the sanctuaries of men among other prestigious objects. The mirror above the figures was also a popular item during transactions. Polychromy off, erosions and cracks.
Their masks and other artistic productions are intended to honor aquatic spirits, otojo, which they venerate and to whom sacrifices were ...


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490.00

Bambara Face Mask
African art > African mask > Bambara Mask

A narrow forehead under which the slits of the gaze are lodged, a buzzed nose highlighted by two scarified ribs and a reduced mouth almost evoking the beak of a bird. This unconventional mask, however, echoes the general conventions of Bambara sculpture, with an emphasis on the nasal organ. Dark, grainy, ochre-encrusted skate.
Lack on the posterior outline.
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. Six male associations, the Dyow, using Bambara masks, structure the Bambara community: young people first enter the circumcision society ...


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180.00

Senoufo pulley
African art > Usual african items > Etrier Senoufo

African tribal art and decorative pulleys of Senoufo looms
This pulley of smooth cephalomorphis is adorned with janiform faces with a conical crest rising from a long ringed neck. The walls are engraved with geometric patterns. The dark brown patina is grainy and lustrous by the ritual anointings based on oil.
Mainly farmers, the Senoufo group lives in a savannah region that covers southern Mali and Burkina Faso, and northern Côte d'Ivoire. It encompasses about 50 sub-ethnic groups. SSenoufo speak a Voltaic language Gur, Gur, like the Lobi and The Koulango. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo . Each has its own associationPoro which ...


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150.00

Mask Batcham Msop / Tsemabu
African art > African mask > Batcham Mask

The first African mask of its kind to be discovered in Batcham in the Grasslands Cameroon, this sacred African mask was mistakenly called Batcham in tribal art. Several chiefdoms had these important masks that made up the royal treasure. However, only one copy was used. It was linked to the activities of the secret society called according to the regions msop or tsemabu, and to which also belonged the king also called fon. The Fon was the guarantor of soil fertility and the protection of its subjects; it was not considered fatal. This copy is a miniature replica of the large royal mask, with a horizontal nose with large dilated nostrils and whose high flat forehead evokes the back of a seat. The circular base is engraved with embossed motifs evoking cauris, surmounted by a large mouth ...


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490.00

Pibibuze Kwele Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Kwele Mask

The Kwélé, living on the northern border of Congo, are known for their highly stylized masks, whether anthropomorphic, then called pibibuze, or zoomorphs then called ekuk.
Very stylized pieces with recognizable shapes, they have soft curves and overall harmony. Often, the expression is given by the contrast play created by the use of kaolin on certain areas of the mask.
The white facies comes in the form of a heart highlighted by the overall dark patina of the rest of the room. Dense wood with erosion.

These masks were displayed during the celebration of the cult bwete, multi-day event during which men went hunting in the forest while women and children stayed in the village. On the last day, the men returned, covered with pibibuze and ekuk, meaning " spirit of ...


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Pair of Riders Sao
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African art > African Rider > Sao Riders

Ex-French collection.
The Sao civilization was found in a geographical area stretching along the borders between Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria. It is actually one of the oldest civilizations in West Africa. Subjected to successive onslaughts from their neighbours in Kanem and then to hordes from the east, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in northwestern Cameroon where they mixed with the indigenous people, thus giving birth to an ethnic group called Kotoko.Their descendants, Bakoko, Beti, Peuls and Laobés, although long-islamized, have retained pagan animist rituals normally incompatible with Islam. Indeed, some still worship the spirit of water, certain trees and stones.


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Fertility figure Sukuma / Nyamwezi
African art > African Statues > 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 ...


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350.00

Bozo fish mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Bozo Puppet

Animal sculptures in the African art of Mali
Vivid colors for water engineering , "Faro", embodied by this bozo zoomorphic puppet mask. Its rounded shapes are enhanced by a contrast of blue and red colours. The fins are held by rubber strips. The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the niger's inner delta and remain semi-nomadic today, moving their homes as seasonal floods occur. Mande-speaking people, they speak sorogama. Within their group, we can distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie.In addition to their remarkable masks, the Bozo and Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied size and frequently articulated, exhibited during the puppet theatre Sogow bo which organizes itself on the initiative of young ...


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Fetish statuette Nkisi Kongo
African art > African fetish > Kongo Fetish

The tribal fetishes of the Kongo kingdom have a magical charge usually housed on the abdomen behind a mirror closing the cavity. This copy with a chef's headdress is bristling with intertwined nails of various ropes and mixed with a clay aggregate. Eyes with dark pupils are encrusted with glass in reference to extra lucid abilities. A dagger is missing in the raised hand. The nganga, sorcerers but also healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation towards the God called Nzambi through this type of figures, most often consecrated anthropomorphic tribal sculptures, named nkisi .
With the Kongo, the nganga took on the rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the concepts of "sacred" or "divin". The most ...


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380.00

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

Ibeji statuettes, the incarnation of the missing child in African art Yoruba.De large globular almond eyes, deep scarifications on the face, braids gushing from the top crest generally illustrate the aesthetic traditions of African Yoruba art. Solidly camped on a flat stand, this feminine effigy, depicted nude, sports beaded belts. Brilliant chocolate patina, residual red ochre inlays, traces of indigo on the headdress.
In the language of the people Yoruba , ibeji means twin: ibi for and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who has to take care of them; it can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. Considered much ...


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