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African art - Mask:

The African mask is without question and with force, what it represents, what it embodies. It can be an ancestor, a spirit, etc. .... This is the reason why African masks are treated like humans, they are fed with offerings, they have personal sanctuaries. Most African masks are made to dance. Fang, Punu, Baule, Lega, monochrome or polychrome, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic or even hybrid, coated with kaolin, raw or with a sacrificial patina, they are linked to ritual cults, with various functions (agriculture, initiation, funerals, enthronement etc...). Some have a social, legal, police or peacemaking role.


Idoma Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Idoma Mask

Two faces carried by a long neck are topped with tubular excrescences. Checkerboard scarifications decorate the faces. Holes at the base allowed the addition of raffia fibers. This dense wooden crest was used in dry season funeral ceremonies and festivities in the Cross River region.
Crusty patina, locally chipped. Cracks.
The Idoma inhabit the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers. Numbering 500,000, they are farmers and traders. The influence of their Igbo neighbors, the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups have generated great similarities and stylistic borrowings. The royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, use very diverse masks and crests, during funerals and festivities. Some of them could not be seen, on pain of death. They also ...


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290.00

Igbo Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Igbo Mask

Related to the spirit of an Igbo girl, but worn by young men during harvest festivals or celebrations associated with the spirit of the earth, this African mask takes up Igbo conventions glorifying the beauty of youth, face coated in white, tattoos and scarified motifs, capillary superstructure in crest with which different sculpted subjects are mixed. Matte patina with discreet polychrome highlights, erosions, desiccation cracks.
The Igbo live in the forest in the southeast of Nigeria. They managed to combine a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of group belonging. Their political system is complex and little known. The village constitutes the largest social unit, the smallest being the extended family. Each village has a high degree of autonomy and is ...


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480.00

Idoma Crest
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Idoma Crest

Borrowed from the Igbo of the Cross River, Idoma crest masks also relate to warrior masquerades. A double rattan rim forms the base of the mask symbolizing a water spirit, anjenu,. The scarification which divides the forehead is typical of the Idoma, as well as the protruding scars of the temples.

The Idoma settled at the confluence of the Béné and Niger. Royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities. Janiform crests are generally displayed at the funerals of notables. Members of the male Kwompten society, for their part, used statues called goemai as part of healing rituals. Crusty matt patina. Minor erosions and cracking.
Ref. “Nigerian Arts” 5Continents.


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290.00

Buyu Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Buyu Mask

Bordered by a crenellation representing a beard, this African mask has large eyeballs distinguishing the boyo sculpture. Black-brown oiled patina, abrasions, internal lower edge breakage.
According to stories, the Boyos are of Luba ancestry, through an ancestor who emigrated with her brothers. Migratory flows have mixed Bembe, Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo, Binji and Bangubangu within the same territories. The Basikasingo , considered by some as a Buyu sub-clan, are however not of Bembe origin, the work of Biebuyck having made it possible to trace their history. Organized into lineages, they borrowed the association of Bwami from the Lega. The Bembé and Boyo tribal traditions are relatively similar: they revere the spirits of nature, water specifically among the Boyo, but also ...


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190.00

Masque Cuba
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Cuba

Sharing with the sophisticated Moshambwooy mask of the Kuba the same voluminous canvas trim on which were attached cauris and thousands of beads, this mask offers a flat wooden face with a half-closed look whose palpebral slits have been hollowed out. This type of mask was used at annual foundation ceremonies. The white color refers to mourning, while blue is associated with royalty.
The Lel, neighbours of the Tschokwe and Pende, live to the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoongs of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their company, led by a king u-0022 nymi ", comprises three classes, that of the Tundu or warlords, the Batshwa (", those who reject the Tundu" authority) and the Wongo ...


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280.00

Pende Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende Mask

African mask produced by the Pende of Kasai, topped with stylized elements evoking horns. The traditional hanging patterns, friezes made up of triangles, contour the lower area of the face.
Two-tone, velvety matte patina. Abrasions.
Height on base: 42 cm.

The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern have established themselves on the banks of the Kasai downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu are imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the realistic Mbuya masks, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief, the soothsayer and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc... The ...


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280.00

Punu Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Punu Mask

This African mask, refined and reduced in volume, is one of the stylistic variants of the white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi) with a face endowed with astonishingly realistic features. A high, skillfully braided hairstyle gathered in a single shell surmounts the band limiting the forehead. The checkerboard scarification, mabinda , often tinged with red ochre, is discreet. The double chinstrap enhances the face's shape. The kaolin forms a velvety patina, abraded, on the whole. In primitive art, this tribal mask of Gabon was associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, Bwete and Mwiri, the latter of which had several levels of initiation, to which all the Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman. The Punu did not use masks in the ...


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180.00

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

The Mukanda men's association uses, among the Tschokwe, around thirty African wooden masks, for various social purposes and linked to the ancestors: the cikugu mask , the cihongo, the pwo mask, kalelwa, cikunza, but also this type of bird mask which we find different versions, often worn on a basketry base. Colorful cotton fabrics and various small objects are frequently added to it.
Satin brown patina, abrasions, small accidents. The Tschokwe, of Bantu culture, had established themselves in eastern Angola, but also in the Congo and Zambia. Following different alliances, they mingled with the Lunda who taught them hunting. Their social organization also affected Tschokwe society. The Tschokwe, however, ended up dominating the Lunda, whose kingdom was dismantled at the end of ...


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240.00

Gbandi mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Gbandi mask

The Ngbaka, Ngbandi and Ngombe wear a scarification on the forehead that extends over the bridge of the nose, the particularity of the Ngombe remaining, however, the "v" shaped keloids. This type of mask appeared in pairs during the Ngbandi Gaza initiations. Dark patina, colored highlights. In northwestern Zaire, south of the Ubangi River, on the banks of the Lualaba, live the 120000 Ngombe of Bantu language, led by a chief and a warrior society Elombe . Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and Ngbaka whose statuary has influenced their tribal sculpture, and various banda groups. Their geometric-looking masks are used during the rites of the mani society. In addition, they produce hunting fetishes with protective purposes, and prestige objects decorated with tapestry nails.


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175.00

Fang Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Fang Mask

Ex. French collection of African Art Fang.
Formerly intended to unmask sorcerers, this African mask of the fang type, of which here is a rounded and sober version, was cut on the eve of the ceremonies. It is out of the sight of lay people that, accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, he also intervened during initiations. Abraded matte patina. Erosions and desiccation cracks.
Among the Fang, established in a region extending from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, the appearance of these masks generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fear. This type of mask was used by the Ngil religious and judicial male society which no longer exists today. This secret society was ...


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190.00

Pende Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende Mask

The African mask inspired by the panya ngombe style is closely linked, according to the Pende, to the symbolism of the wild buffalo. The most imposing examples were designed to adorn the spaces reserved for the chief in the hut. Triangular in shape, this mask has stretched eyelids and inclined ears which accentuate its "V" appearance. Triangular decorative motifs appear as a distinct recurrence in the creations sculpted by Pende artists. Matte dark patina, abrasions. Height on base: 30 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners have established themselves on the banks of the Kasai downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu are imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. ...


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450.00

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

This African mask Lega indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different grades. Composed of an inverted split face, the contours of which are edged with a thick fringe of raffia, this mask would be associated with the primordial ancestors. It is coated with a thick layer of partially abraded white clay. Matt patina, desiccation cracks.
Settled on the shores and islands of Lake Kivu, the Bashi, Omushi, or even Banyabungu, form a Bantu group from the west, which the Lega came to mingle with, then joined by the pastoral populations of Rwanda. They live mainly from agriculture and cattle breeding. Within the Léga, the Bwami society, open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of ...


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240.00

Ekoi Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ekoi Mask

Worn on the head as a crest, the African masks of Nigeria.
Ideal of feminine beauty among the Ejagham, the extravagant hairstyle composed of four volute outgrowths, trimmed with leather and removable, represents the hair extensions of young girls at the end of their period of initiatory seclusion. The whole thing has been coated with oil, the brown patina being like ice. The dancer's costume was made up of a large latticework of raffia cords, and, more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather softened and took on a satisfactory luster. Leopard societies, such as the Kpe male society, Ngbe among the Aro, used this model of crests for initiation ceremonies or funerals of members of the association, but ...


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450.00

Ci wara Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ci wara Mask

African art and the founding myths of Bambara
In central and southern Mali, this abstract sculpture symbolizes the horse-antelope Ciwara ("wild beast of the earth") which, for the Bambara, Bamana " or "unbelievers", as the Muslims called them, would have taught agriculture to the man. She would also have offered him the first cereal. The crest mask is attached by ties to a deep hat in basketwork stretched with canvas and extended with raffia. Matte brown patina.
Worn on the top of the head, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks roamed the field by leaping in order to drive out the nyama, evil scents, and to detect any danger, or to flush out the evil spirits that could delight the soul of ...


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480.00

Lwena Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lwena Mask

This African mask evoking a young woman was worn during the closing ceremonies of the Mukanda initiation. This mask was supposed to promote hunting, fertility, and harvests. Dark reddish-brown patina. Chips and abrasions.
Of Lunda origin, the Lwena (or even Lovale, or Luvale) emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed back by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia and near the Zambezi in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their honey-colored sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation rites of mukanda. This mask is engraved with circular patterns associated with ethnic scarifications. These details ...


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140.00

Luvale mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luvale mask

This African mask depicting the face of a young woman wearing a hemispherical headdress was worn at the top of the head during the closing ceremonies of the Mukanda initiation. It was supposed to promote hunting, fertility, and harvests.
Slight losses and drying crack.
Abrasive matte patina, crusty residue.
Of Lunda origin, the Lwena (or even Lovale , or Luvale ) emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed back by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, others, the Lovales, found refuge in Zambia and near the Zambezi in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena have become known for their honey-colored sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation ...


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140.00

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

African Lega sculptures in African art. This mask, which was not intended to be worn, but manipulated during rituals, indicated the stage that its holder had reached within theBwami, a learning society made up of different grades, and that joined the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of ngandu.
Within the Léga, the society of Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following Social recognition and authority also had to be earned individually: the leader owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks, collectively owned, were presented to initiates ...


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280.00

Lele Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lele Mask

In the category of flat surface masks, this Lele mask wears an elaborate balaclava hat and beard embroidered with beads, cowrie shells, fringed with horsehair or feathers. Glossy black patina.
The Lélé, neighbors of the Tschokwe and the Pende, live to the west of the Kuba kingdom and share specific characteristics cultural common with the Bushoong of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their society, led by a king "nymi", includes three classes, that of the Tundu or war chiefs, the Batshwa ("those who reject the Tundu authority") and the Wongo called from the name of the neighboring ethnic group. The ritual ceremonies are under the authority of the oldest, chiefs of each village who hold the secrets of medicinal plants. These ...


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380.00

Boa Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Boa Mask

Example of an African kpongadomba or "Pongdudu" mask, flanked by unusual ears. Supposed to make one invulnerable, this kpongadomba African art mask of the Boa was ordered by the kumu chief who offered it to the most valiant warrior. It was then kept in his wife's hut. The ear flaps of the Eastern Boa were once perforated. The "bavobongo" has a mouth filled with teeth often represented by sticks, and gave an impressive appearance to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors. Matte grainy patina, abraded. Height on base: 44 cm.
Close to the Mangbetu and the Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa would have used these masks for educational purposes with children, since the pacification of the Uele region.


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380.00

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

Ex-Swiss African art collection.
Shallow, stretched surface, on which are dug arches in the heart. The protrusion of the eyelids forms a hallucinated look and the gaping of the mouth an expression of amazement. This African Lega mask adopts recurring aesthetic criteria. Yet it offers checkered keloids, evoking some of the traditional motifs of which the faces were scarred. Residual, crusty, white clay inlays. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which was joined by the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Two-coloured skate abrasée.br / Within the Léga, the society of the Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were ...


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180.00

Fang Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Fang Mask

A voluminous mask forming a mutation of the Fang Ngil mask, this African mask of the Bikereu type caricatures a European settler. These masks appeared after the colonizing government banned the Ngil mask of justice, but have a similar function.
Abraded matte patina, drying cracks, minor chips.
Among the Fang, the male brotherhood of Ngil had the main task of fighting against sorcerers and evildoers. These masks were also worn for the initiation of its new members. Their white color, a reference to the deceased, means that the mask embodied an ancestral spirit. The mask has forbidding features, meant to surprise, accompanied by numerous acolytes at nightfall, in the light of torches.


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280.00





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