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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.

Fetish statue Nkishi of Songye
African art > African fetish > Statue Songye

Angular volumes form this androgynous anthromorphic sculpture. Always intriguing by the diversity of their magical paraphernalia, the African fetishes mankishi (plu.) of Songye, specialists in the field. The summit horn, usually loaded with bishimba in which magic ingredients mingle, springs here in the center of the headdress. The various magical accessories, added by the ritualist named nganga , are made up of necklaces, inlays of upholstery nails, and ropes as loincloths. Each of them played a role in protecting themselves from witchcraft. Patine mate. Cracks.

The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of the savannah and forests. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that ...


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480.00

Kasangala League Statues
African art > African Statues > League figurines

In the lega statuary, anthropomorphic sculptures with arms raised above the head would evoke, according to Cameron, the one who settled a dispute through his arbitration. These figures are named kasangala . The piece features a honey patina with kaolin inlays.
This type of tribal art statuette was kept in the basket of high-ranking officers of the Bwami, a secret society that admits men and their wives, and governs social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were introduced, cleaned and oiled. Each has a particular aspect and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The peculiarity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is also to judge the quality of their ritual objects ...


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280.00

Kuyu totemic figure in terracotta
African art > African Terracotta > Terracotta Kouyou

Legs joined, arms along the body devoid of feet, this figure represented seated was made of terracotta. It is decorated with many polychrome decorative motifs.
Two totemic 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 serpent 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 an emblem. For its part, the snake's had carved heads, painted in ...


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140.00

Masque Kumu, Komo, Nsembu
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Masque Kumu

African mask named Nsembu , which performed in male-female pairs, it was used by the sorcerer's society Nkunda within the clans living in the north of the Uituri region. The surface is coated with a polychrome dotillage, an allusion to the animal world, and the color pigments that adorn the bodies during the initiation rites. Patine mate. Height on suitable base: 44 cm.

The Kumu , Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the North-East and central Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is komo or kikomo. Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, the Yela, the Lengola, and the Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ...


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Kasai Shoowa Velvet
objet vendu
African art > African Textile > Textile Cuba

Belgian African tribal art collection.
African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
Products to Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, a subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real paintings of first art, consist of a textile base in raffia on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by the contrasts of tone. The geometric patterns formed represent the body scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. In many cases they took the value of money, or they also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the velvet weaving technique to Kuba ...


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Kasai Shoowa Velvet
objet vendu
African art > African Textile > Textile Cuba

Belgian African tribal art collection.
African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
Products to Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, a subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real paintings of first art, consist of a textile base in raffia on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by the contrasts of tone. The geometric patterns formed represent the body scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. In many cases they took the value of money, or they also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the velvet weaving technique to Kuba ...


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Lobi Bateba Statues
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Lobi Bateba Statues

Knee, hands arranged on either side of his prominent abdomen, this Lobi statue has a face with a meditative and serene face. Eyelids closed in a head with naturalistic features. This ancient wooden effigy, the Bateba, was placed on the altar after a ritual to become the receptacle of a bush spirit, the Thil, and thus become an active, intermediate being that fights against sorcerers and other evil forces. When they are honoured, these spirits show their benevolence in the form of heavy rains, good health, numerous births; Ignored, they remove it and lead to devastating epidemics, drought and suffering.
These spirits pass on to the soothsayers the laws that followers must follow in order to receive their protection.
They are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called ...


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Bembe Kalunga fetish tabouret
African art > African Chair > Tabouret Bembe

Preserved in the box of the karunga society, or Alunga, this fetish in the form of a seat is made up of kalunga faces. The society not only exercised social control within the Bembe clan, but also organized public dances and pre-hunting ceremonies. The large eye sockets of the faces are reminiscent of circumcision masks that symbolize a forest spirit. Patina lustrous by use. Desication cracks, erosions.
The Bembe is a Luba branch line that is believed to have left Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by their neighbours in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for initiation and structuring for society but while the bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other ...


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290.00

Mbole Mask
African art > African mask > Mbole Mask

With a very slightly convex structure, low relief, this tribal mask coated with a matte polychromy is embellished with raised ribs whose shape repeats in parallel grooves. The latter are still encrusted with kaolin highlights. These African masks are staged at the funerals of Lilwa dignitaries or are used by the blacksmith during circumcision rituals. Height on a base: 42 cm.

The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mboles and Yela are known for their statues, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing those guilty of violations of the imposed rules to hang. These offences ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the ...


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170.00

Oracle de divination Luba/Songye Katatora
African art > African fetish > Oracle Katatora

Divinatory tool to communicate with ancestors. Incorporating the category of objects nkisi , nkishi , this sculpture was attributed to a secret power because it formed the receptacle of a spiritual energy. The Luba, like their neighbors Songye, use this type of objects related to the divination kashekesheke named katatora and lubuko. According to François Neyt, the object was carved from wood (kibekwasa ) with magical properties. During the interview, the ring was caught by the soothsayer and his client, who dragging it onto a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked (producing the sound of 'kashekesheke', 'extracting the truth'). The figurative motif here consists of a head with eyes encrusted with cured and capped with braids gathered backwards in hulls. Chocolate satin ...

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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390.00

Zamblé Gouro Mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Guro Mask

Among the group of Mande from the south, in the centre of Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized in bloodcuts, and constitute the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several characteristics of their art creations African tribal system. Animists, they have been using a family of masks associated with the Zaouli dance since the 1950s . Like the African Goli masks of the Baoulé, all Guro masks, related to the geniuses of nature, come in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorph, which is considered the wife of the mask zamblé , the Gu . These masks are the property of families who worship the ancestors of blood-lurking, who make ritual and sacrificial use of them in order to attract divine blessings. Priest and soothsayer share ...


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Baule Ndoma Helmet Mask
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African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

This voluminous African mask of the Baoulé, a traditional sculpture called portrait mask or Ndoma, features a hairstyle composed of braided hair topped by a feline. The face with fine features features features the traditional scarifications called " ngole". Dark brown surface mattified with a clay coating.
These portraits 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 themselves at the end of the entertainment dance ceremonies. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications. They perform during danced events accompanied by ...


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Nigeria s early Idoma currency
objet vendu
African art > African Currencies > Idoma Currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a triangle extending into its lower part of a flat handle. Its surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The tip base, could be recorded in the ground.
Oxid red ochre granular patina. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used in trade, social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throw weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were assessed against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or delivery of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is wide, ...

Currency Dance Stick Dadiya Jen nyi
African art > African Currencies > Dadiya Currency

This primitive iron coin whose blade evokes the head and beak of a bird has a handle whose lower end is wrapped in a metal strip ending in a twisted hook. The top is equipped with a small bell. This weapon originated in the Dadiya of northeastern Nigeria, and its use changed over time into a currency of exchange. Small ethnic groups, such as the Tula, Dadiya, Burak and Jen (or Dza) form an Adamawa-speaking people established in the Upper Benue region. The Dadiya produced wrought iron ceremonial weapons, used by young people initiated during the kal ( nyansanye) and dance spoilers named jen'nyi . In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cauris, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These ...


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140.00

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

Very graphic, this mask intended to unmask the sorcerers, sculpted on the eve of the ceremonies, reflects the desire to capture the mysteries of the night and intimidate the opposing forces. Accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, he also intervened during initiations out of sight of the laymen. Patine mate polychrome.

The appearance of these masks, usually coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. This type of mask was used by the ngil male society which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. Ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. As a guarantee of peace, he also fixed the seasons, the location where the ...


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390.00

Baule Ndoma Horned Mask
African art > African mask > Baoule Mask

Ex-collection French African art.
African Mask Baoulé, known as the portrait mask or Ndoma, which brings together a human face and ram horns symbolizing endurance and strength. Cracks on internal contours. Locally grainy matte patina. Kaolin remains. These portraits 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 themselves at the end of the entertainment dance ceremonies. The latter are named, depending on the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc. Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of personalities, ...


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360.00

Senoufo Poniugo Korobla Mask
African art > African mask > Senoufo Mask

This African senoufo mask, adorned with a polychrome pastillage, has a large mouth of tubular ears, horns and fangs, and a summit figure with a cup. This African senoufo mask with a round head, exorbitant pupils, wide toothed jaw and zoomorphic ears, is named 'fire-breather' (Korobla). It is sometimes accessorized with magical attributes. The chameleon motif refers to the emblematic animal that preceded the creation of human beings and symbolizes knowledge, the cup is intended for magical substances.
The Senoufo, the name given to them by french settlers, are mainly 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.
Representations of hybrid beings, the ...


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390.00

Figure Dogon and buffalo in bronze
objet vendu
African art > African Rider > Statue Dogon

This sculpture depicting a figure perched on a buffalo probably refers to the religious leader hogon or still one of the primordial ancestors N
ommo forming a recurring sculpted motif, shown here holding a container.
Dogon blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim . They now produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. " Masters of Fire associated in dogon cosmogony with primordial beings Nommo created by the god Ama, they are also supposed to cure burns. Small metal objects, made using the lost wax technique, were widespread in the Interior Delta region of Niger, with copper making it through trans-Saharan trade. Excavations on the Bandiagara plateau have uncovered remains of steel sites prior to the 15th century, when the Dogons arrived. Nommo, a ...

Bamoun beaded hem mask
objet vendu
African art > African mask > Bamun Mask

Ex-French tribal art collection.
In African art, the use of pearls is linked to the prestige of the court. The Bamoun live in an area that is both full of wooded reliefs but also savannahs. This large territory called Grassland in southwestern Cameroon is also home to other close ethnic groups such as the Bamiléké and the Tikar . Stylistically, one feels the influence of this interethnic promixmity by common traits on the pieces of art, such as the tendency to represent globular-eyed joumins in the Tikar, or the application of beads on art sculptures. African bamileke.
Bamoun craftsmen have produced countless works, each one more impressive than the other. The masks, the beaded objects, the drawings of Njoya, the architecture of the palaces, reflect the quality and diversity ...


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Masque Mbole/Yela
African art > African mask > Mbole Mask

Shallow mask, with streaks and punctures. These African masks are staged at the funerals of Lilwa dignitaries or are used by the blacksmith during circumcision rituals. In the Yela, the masks associated with the company ekanga are kept in a basket stored in a box. Locally abraded dark patina.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mboles and Yela are known for their statues, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing those guilty of violations of the imposed rules to hang. These offences ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa . Disgraced, the bodies of condemned men had no funerals and ...


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350.00





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