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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.

Ancestor statue Baule Asia usu
African art > African Statues > Statue Baoulé

The Akan cults in African art
This "Waka -Sona", ", wood-to-baouu", set on stocky, muscular legs suitable for agricultural work, grabs his beard as oil anointings stiffened. The high summit ridge that composes his hairstyle meets in three shells ending in braids. Many traditional checkerboard scarifications roam his body. A hand with de-measured fingers rests in the umbilical region. This gesture of life evokes the parentage on which he exercises his protection. Light wood, irregular satin surface.
Two types of statues Waka- Sona are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: those that evoke a assiè oussou, being of the earth, and which are part of a set of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers komian, the latter being selected by the asye usu ...


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380.00

Fang reliquary figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Fang

This anthropomorphic sculpture of atypical proportions, emanating from the Ntumu regions between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, displays a pout inscribed in a prognathic jaw, a broad forehead and a hairstyle pulled towards the neck. A pierced umbilical, like sex, springs from the abdomen. The oiled patina, black, makes a light wood appear locally. Altered feet. Abrasions and shards of wood.
At the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of illustrious ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the boxes "byi", named as the cult to which they resemble. These were kept in a dark corner of the ...


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480.00

Ewe fetish statuette
African art > African fetish > Ewe Fetish

African art and tribal cult vodun of the ewe and fon
Affubé populations of various amulets in the form of jewelry, horns filled with substances mixed with red clay, metal accessories, dried seeds, and reptile skin belt, this realistic statuette was ritually coating with a thick powder coating peeling locally. The pupils are made up of red beads, and one of the feet is altered. Desication cracks, furrows.
In Togo, African fetishes are part of beneficial or evil rituals according to the intentions of their owner. The fetishists, following the divination ritual of the fa using palm nuts, make them to order to offer protective and medicinal virtues but also offer more conventional ready-to-use versions.
These practices are still in use today are sometimes decried and ...


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280.00

Motherhood figure Chokwe / Lwena
African art > African Statues > Statue Chokwe

Statue associated with therapeutic cult type Hamba , this sculpture Chokwe or Lwena embodies a female ancestor supposed to guarantee fertility or healing. These figures were arranged around the altar muyombo, a tree at the foot of which sacrifices and offerings were once made. Sculptures such as figures made in sticks or poles ( Mbunji or mbanji), planted in the ground, were also associated. The related ethnic groups had the same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths and important transactions were concluded. (Source: Chokwe, B. Wastiau)The character who also depicts the second wife of legendary chef Chibinda Ilunga sports a bulging hairstyle like a helmet and metal adornments. Smooth patina with matte granular pigments. Abrasions of the character's fingers. Xylophage ...


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450.00

Punu Okuyi Mask
African art > African mask > Punu Mask

This African Punu Okuyi mask features a double shell formed by braided and shaped hair. These hairstyles in various forms illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. This sculpture corresponds to the canons of Punu art with its frontal and temporal scarifications in diamond and checkerboard, mabinda. A collar also surrounds the entire face. The abraded white patina corresponds to the color of mourning, which establishes a link with the world of spirits and ancestors.
These masks were associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete, and the Mwiri ("le"), the latter spanning into several levels of initiation, to which all punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman. The punu did not involve any masks in the rituals of the ...


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380.00

Reliquary figure Kota
African art > African Reliquary > statue Kota

With large flat side shells, this singular concave face with an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper leaves. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric patterns, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture. The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of relics ...


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230.00

Idoma Anjenu Statue
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Idoma Anjenu Statue

The Idoma live at the confluence of Benue and Niger, and there are 500,000 farmers and traders, with Igbo, Cross River and Igala influences in their art and customs, and it is often difficult. to distinguish them from their neighbors The royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities, and also produce fertility statues with whitened faces and incised teeth. Janiform crests are generally exhibited at the funerals of notables, and members of the Kwompten male society used statues called goemai as part of healing rituals. This male character in a frontal position embodies a spirit of water, anjenu, of the river Benoué. This cult, widespread among Idoma animists as well as Igala and Southern Yoruba, was supposed to ...


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Nawantante Bwa Vertical Blade Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

This African bwa mask is made up of a flat, circular surface topped with an open board and feminine sculptures in round-bumps represented in an attitude of devotion. Circular decorative motifs adjoin with layered hooked reliefs symbolizing bird beaks. They're heading for a losangic mouth. The colours are divided into blackish bitumen, kaolin and burgundy red pigments. According to Gabriel Massa and Chantal Dewé, concentric circles symbolize the original sacred wells, triangles the footprints of antelopes, and the curved hooks calao, an animal associated with divination.
The African art sculptures of Bobo , Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently take up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. It is the spirits of nature that ...

Urhobo Shrine Figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Urhobo

The Urhobos, living near the northwest of the Niger Delta River, are the main ethnic group in Delta State among the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They speak Urhobo, a language of the Niger-Congo group. With the Isoko whose art is close, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures depicting the spirits of nature, edjo, or the clan's founding ancestors, to whom sacrifices were offered, were grouped in sanctuaries within the villages. They also produce figures similar to the igbo ikenga called iphri, ivwri, half-animal, half-human. They personify male aggression and are intended for warriors and notables. However, after consultation with the soothsayer, young children can also wear miniature iphri strapped to their necks in the form of geometric amulets. This ...


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480.00

Idoma crest mask
African art > African mask > Idoma Mask

The Idoma settled at the confluence of Benué and Niger. There are 500,000 farmers and traders in their 500,000. The neighbourhood and thus the influences of the Igbo, those of the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups have generated stylistic borrowings, and great tribal similarities. The royal lineage members of their society oglinye , glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They also produce fertility statues with bleached faces and exhibiting incised teeth. Janiform crests are usually displayed at the funerals of notables. Members of the male society Kwompten , meanwhile, used statues named goemai as part of healing rituals. Borrowed from the Igbo of the Cross River, these crest masks also relate to the masquerades of warriors. A double rattan strap ...


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280.00

Kusu bust figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Kusu

The Kusu established on the left bank of the Lualaba have indeed borrowed the artistic traditions of the luba and Hemba and have a caste system similar to that of the Luba .  The Hemba settled in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba River. Formerly under the rule of the Luba , these farmers and hunters practice the worship of ancestors by means of effigies long attributed to the Luba.In this region, between the Bembe, Boyo, Hemba, Songye and Tetela, ritual objects have been subjected to exchanges and stylistic influences. The narrowness of the bust is mainly noted on the figures of ancestors to free the space of the arms among the major characteristics. The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honoured during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to ...


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280.00

Fertility doll Akua ba Fante
objet vendu
African art > African Dolls > Fanti figurines

Fante art has become known mainly for its fertility dolls, which are worn by pregnant women, who do not have to lay eyes on a malformed being or object, lest their children resemble them. On the other hand, by looking at these dolls, expressions of idealized beauty, they are supposed to promote the beauty of their future children. These dolls carved in the Fante, population akan coastal regions of Ghana, ancient gold coast, have a slightly different appearance than those of the Ashanti. However, their function is more or less similar. The head here adopts a rectangular shape. We find the ringed neck and the tubular bust, here devoid of arms, established on a cicular base and reduced breasts. This statuette, the back of which features geometric engravings associated with the scarfications ...

Lock Bambara
objet vendu
African art > African Lock > Lock Bambara

"Bambara African Art"

Targette Bambara consists of two pieces arranged in a cross, the chest, vertical, and the transom, horizontal and provided with a hollow in which will be inserted the key. A stylized face, at the top, resting on a triangular neck, is framed by two high horns, the cross is also reinforced with a metal part in the sliding lower part. Finish grids are incised on the object and allude to values ​​and belief Bambara would represent the creative waters and the four cardinal points. The locks, generally belonging to women and symbolizing the union of two people, can be offered to them by their husbands on the occasion of a birth or to celebrate the installation of the wife at her husband's house. This is therefore personal property that can be passed on to ...


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Yohoure Lomane Mask
African art > African mask > Yaoure Mask

A subgroup of the people Akan present in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the Yaouré produced sculptural art influenced by the neighbouring ethnic groups Baoulé and Gouros, and vice versa. This African mask belonging to the company I is topped with a stylized bird figure. A tripartite hair decorated with diamonds dug into the wood highlights the bulging forehead, and a collar of triangular patterns surrounds the face. Fine scarifications of the temples mark the temples. Mahogany brown patina. This copy, which could be attributed to the group of Anoman , Lomane , (bird) is part of the fourth of the seven masks I originally danced around the deceased and leaned up to touch him for a purifying purpose. It also appears at present during rejoicing. . African art masks Yaouré , or Yauré , whose Baoulé ...


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240.00

Couple of twins Ibedji Yoruba
African art > African Statues > Ibedji Yoruba

Here, the "abiku", adornments with a protective purpose, can be found here in each of the characters carved into coloured pearl necklaces, cauris chains, and metal bells. These statuette-dolls "ere" (statues), evoking twins, feature a hairstyle formed of braids gathered in a sagittal crest.
Satric glossy surface.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. A man sometimes had ibeji for his wife to sculpt in order to arouse pregnancy. Supporting the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the ...


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300.00

Kuyu Totem Figure
African art > African Statues > Statue Kuyu

Wearing a totemic animal evoking the camelon, this sculpture depicts a mythical being with three faces, perched on a pachyderm. A crusty, locally cracked polychrome patina is the entire piece.
Two totem clans once formed the Kuyu ethnic group, living along the river of the same name, in the northwest of the People's Republic of Congo: in the west that of the panther, and in the east that of the snake. A secret male association, Ottoté , played an important political role in the appointment of leaders. The initiation of the young men ended with the revelation of the snake god Ebongo represented in the form of a head. The dances Kibe-kibe that accompanied the ceremony reactivated the successive stages of creation. The panther clan had a drum as its emblem. For its part, the snake's ...


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450.00

Bwa Nawantante Mask
African art > African mask > Bwa Mask

An established population on both sides of the Black Volta in Burkina Faso and Mali, the Bwa are divided into three endogamous castes: blacksmiths, griots and farmers. The Bwa believe in a god Difini creator of the world, who later abandoned him to his son Do. Do, whose emblem is an iron rhombe named alive , is supposed to intervene during funerals and agrarian rites. The leaf masks are made by the villagers, only the South Bwa, the niegue , produce wooden masks often zoomorphic, and the famous board masks, abstract, representing the spirits of nature, the naw . (C.Roy) Incarnating a spirit, this mask abstractly evoking the calao bird is topped with a vertical plank and a feminine figure reminiscent of the style of gurunsi masks. The mask owner and his family worshipped the object through ...


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350.00

Masque Igbo Izzi
African art > African mask > Izzi Mask

This type of mask called ogbodo enyi in the extreme north-east of the igbo country, and which means " spirit of the elephant", refers to the strength and endurance of the majestic pachyderm. Indeed, in addition to the presence of elements appearing in tusks, the protruding forehead, returning to the inside of the mask, is a stylized evocation of the trunk. Because of its exceptional characteristics, the elephant is associated with a symbolism of political and spiritual power and features prominently in the Igbo cosmogony.
These masks that combine human and animal elements were sculpted in different formats and wore horizontally, and, like most igbo masks, performed with other masks during dance performances. Unusually, they could be worn by women, despite a threat of infertility to ...


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390.00

Baoulé maternity figure
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Baoulé

A tribal sculpture depicting a woman sitting with a child, she displays traditional keloid scars and a hairstyle whose chiseled braids on the wood form a large shell. A bust and a long neck give elegant volumes to this statue expressing a peaceful concentration. Grey-brown speckled patina, kaolin-encrusted residue. Two types of statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: The statues Waka-Sona, " be of wood " in baoulé, evoke a asssouou, be of the earth. They are part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers komien, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues, made according to the soothsayer's instructions, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, ...


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Bamoun/Bamileke beaded statue
African art > African Statues > Statue Cameroon

Colors and chiefdoms in African art. The Bamiléké , a subgroup of a larger people also made up of Bamoun and Tikar , are famous for their sculptures of African art covered with pearls, signs of prosperity and wealth, conferring on the royal object the brilliance that distinguishes it from common objects.

This female statuette of ancestor, stocky, was first carved in wood and then covered with a canvas of rabane encrusted with imported multicolored pearls, predominantly blue and red. She wears a crest hairstyle ending in the neck. The hands are placed on her lower abdomen in a gesture associated with fertility. The physiognomy displays a distinctive expressiveness of African tribal art from the Grassland regions.
Among the Bamilékés as in other ethnic groups, the art ...


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150.00

Horseman talisman Sao Sokoto Putchu Guinadji
African art > African Rider > Rider Sao

Ex-collection French African art.
Used as an amulet credited with apotropaic virtues, this small bronze sculpture is, for the Sao, a talisman supposed to protect them from madness. It is therefore worn at all times. The genius who would possess the madman is represented by the rider, the horse appearing the victim. This rider wearing a cheche rides an equine that was a rare attribute of prestige in these regions of the Sahel. The Sao, ancestors of the Kotokos, were established between the 12th and 14th centuries in a geographical area stretching along the borders between Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria. They settled on hills, allowing them to repel the invaders. Subjected to successive onslaughts from their neighbours in Kanem and then to hordes from the east, the Sao had to ...





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