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African art - African mask, tribal art, primitive art:

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.


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

In the category of masks with a relatively flat structure, this Lele mask presents details carved into an elongated face, such as orbits surrounded by grooves and metal bands, a narrow nose and a small tubular mouth. The headdress, in slight relief, is engraved with intertwined lines. Beautiful smooth and lustrous patina, locally encrusted with ochre.
The Lele , neighbors of the Tschokwe and the Pende , live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. Their society, headed by a " nymi" king, includes three classes, that of the Tundu or war chiefs, the Batshwa ("those who reject the Tundu authority"), and the Wongo called after the neighboring ethnic ...


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Baoule, Baule, Ndoma mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baule mask

Collection of French African art.
This African mascotBaoulé, a sculpture called portrait mascot or Ndoma, has a braided hairstyle gathered in shells. The placid physiognomy of the face, with half-open bulbous pupils, is raised by the scarifications named "ngole". Satin patina.
These Baule portrait masks, ndoma, which are part of one of the oldest Baule artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity of appearing at the end of entertainment dance ceremonies.These are named, according to the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc.... Each of these masks are distinguished by hairstyles, placement and choice of scarification. They perform during danced events accompanied by music and songs, celebrations, visits of ...


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Kwele Ekuk Mask, Pipibudze
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kwele Mask

These African masks from the Kwele of Gabon, with a concave, heart-shaped face, have almond-shaped eyes and a triangular nose. Usually hidden, the smiling mouth is drawn here in a thin incision. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are called pipibudzé , Ekuku zokou , etc...and are associated with ancestors or forest spirits, " ekuk ". Satin patina, erosions.
Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé, Bakwélé, live in the forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live from hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult called Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by obligatory initiation rites, they used at the end of the ceremonies ekuk masks evoking the antelope whose horns meet in a loop under the ...


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Nzebi inspired mask, Ndzabi
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Nzebi mask

Originally from the Ogooué region, the Nzebi or Bandjabis settled in southern Gabon and in the Republic of Congo around Mayoko, a region rich in iron ore. The Bwiti, Mwiri, and Ndjobi form their main secret societies. This mask of reduced dimensions, of nzébi inspiration, is characterized by its fine lines and the vertical distribution of its colored zones.
Embodying a spirit of nature or an ancestor, he was supposed to facilitate access to the supernatural world in order to guarantee the benevolence of the powers reigning, according to the group, over the afterlife.
Grainy satin surface.


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390.00

Teke Tsaayi Kidumu mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Teke mask

Ex-Belgian African art collection. The pictograms of the African Téké masks from Gabon insist on oppositions symbolizing the duality in the universe: their surface is embellished with geometric patterns painted with polychrome pigments. In addition to lunar symbolism, these pictograms refer to regional body scarifications. It is a plank mask that the wearer held between the teeth using a braided ribbon. The perforations were used to attach feathers and fibers which perfected the harmony of the costume. Matt patina, slight accidents. Only the Tsaayi, among the Téké subgroups of Gabon, produced wooden masks from the mid-20th century. They were used by members of the secret male kidumu brotherhood (kidumu is the name of the society, the dance, and the mask), at the funerals of village ...


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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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90.00

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

Naturalism for this Nigerian mask associated with funerary rites, and whose face coated with white clay bears the traditional keloids in vertical barrette, also present in the Igbos, with protruding cheekbones under ample eye sockets, and an apparent dentition. The ears are raised with red ochre pigment. Flaky, flaking patina.
The Idoma settled at the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers. Numbering 500,000, they are farmers and traders. The neighborhood and therefore the influences of the Igbo, the ethnic groups of the Cross River and Igala 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 statues of ...


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280.00

Guro Gyela lu Zaouli mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Gouro mask

A female face, lacquered in a bright red and topped with striated shells is surmounted by a sculpted animal motif.
Polychrome patina.
Among the Mande group from the south, in central Côte d'Ivoire, the Gouro have been using a family of African masks associated with dance since the 1950s. Zaouli . Indeed, like the Goli masks of the Baoulé, all of the Guro masks are available in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorphic, which is considered to be the wife of the zamblé mask, the Gu . The Gu , whose function is apotropaic, represents a young woman endowed with the beauty criteria specific to the Guro, in particular facial scars and filed teeth. It is while singing in honor of the zamblé that the Gu moves gracefully, following the sound of the ...


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


Mask offering the physiognomy of a primate. Kaolin residues. This sculpted work indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society made up of different ranks, and which were joined by the wives whose husbands had reached the third level, that of ngandu . Height including beard: 48 cm. Within the Léga, the Bwami society, open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven initiation levels, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in DRC. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a barrier and surrounded by smaller masks. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where ...


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380.00

Ti wara Bamana vertical crest mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ci wara Bambara

Ti-wara masks in African art.
It would be a genius animal called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. They recall the myth through the stylized representation of a hippotrague antelope, whose name ci wara means " fawn of the earth. Adorned on the head and sides of slats of copper, ears and muzzle are embellished with cotton thread pompoms. The tops of the horns inclined towards the rear are also sheathed in leather and horsehair. This sculpture of Ti wara would come from the region of Ségou.
Velvety mat patina. Carried at the top of the head and held in place by a sort of small basket, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of tòn , an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks bounded across the field in order ...


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340.00

Baule Kplé crest mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Baoule mask

This flat, circular African mask is the least important in the hierarchy of African Goli masks.
Embellished with a decorative chiseled border, offering protruding pupils, it has a chiseled mouth with a dentition, evoking the traditional filing of teeth in young people. This example is surmounted by a sculpted figure, represented masked, standing between the scrolled horns. According to some authors, the female kplekple mask (Masques africains Barbier-Mueller, p.116) is red. Vogel (Baule) indicates on the other hand that in the Baule version of the Goli the male mask is painted red, and the female in black. It is likely that this attribution varies from village to village. Drying cracks.
Usually preceding the manifestation of a series of masks of the " Goli" family, ...


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380.00

Songye Kifwebe miniature mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songye mask

The tribal masks of the Songye .
African mask of the Songye ethnic group, in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo . Provided with a high sagittal crest, this mask, of modest size, would be masculine, as opposed to the feminine mask which carries a ridge. The lines in powerful relief give it a spectacular appearance. Matte patina, abrasions.
Three variations of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very high crest. bass or even absent, and finally the biggest one embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, is worn with a long costume and a long beard made of natural fibers, absent on this example, during ...


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140.00

Mbagani Mask, Babindi
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Mbagani Mask

Large kaolin-coated eye sockets offer globular, ajar eyelids. Tiny ears are attached to it. The lower part of the face crowned with a crenellated headdress ends in a curved tip, characteristic of the Mbagani , from the group Mpasu now extinct, and itself a subgroup of Lulua, or Béna Lulua, and which also includes the Salampasu. They form the Ding a group of 50,000 individuals established in R.D.C. near the Angolan border. They were marked by the influence of their neighbours Lunda and former occupiers Tchokwé . Organized into small independent chiefdoms, they mainly grow maize, with women embroidering textiles woven by men. Masks would be associated with healing rites. Dark patina, mate, scattered flaking. (Black African Tribal Art, J.B.BACQUART)


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Tetela mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tetela mask

Mask on which is reflected the impact of the sculpture of the groups living around the Tetela. The rounded forehead, with shaved temples, recalls Kuba statuary; the geometric lines the streaks of the songye masks.
Deep brown patina, satin, locally abraded.
Native restoration.
Scattered throughout the Kasai basin, the Tetela of Mongo origin have been the source of incessant conflicts with their neighbors. They also participated extensively in the slave trade. Their very diverse sculpture is marked by the influence of groups living in contact with them: in the North, their art has been subjected to the influence of forest populations such as the Mongo, in the northwest that of the Nkutschu, and in the west that of Binji and Mputu. Kuba traditions have also ...


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Idoma dance crest
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Idoma crest

There is a wide variety of traditional African masks that the Idoma wear as crests. Linear barred scarification runs across the face of this mask topped with braids, some of which rise in scrolls at the top. This horned headdress is said to be called ochobo and is related to the osobo dance. The head formed the upper part of a crest mask of the same type as the ungulali masks. A two-tone patina adorns the mask, enhancing the visual impact. Metal teeth are inlaid in the mouth.
The Idoma live at the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers. Numbering 500,000, they are farmers and traders. Igbo, Cross River and Igala influences are found in their art and customs and it is often difficult to distinguish them from their neighbors. Okua masks are worn among the southern Idoma during ...


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280.00

Dan Gunyeya "racing" mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

An actor of social order, the African Dan mask would, according to Eberhard Fisher, be of the feminine or masculine type. The almond-shaped face, with harmonious features, is pierced by large circular eyes trimmed with metal. Smooth grayish brown patina.
The masks equipped with round orbits ( named gunyeya or gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the mask set of the Northern Dan and are used for racing events during the dry season. As for the zapkei ge , equipped with a gaze highlighted with red textile pierced with circular orbits, they are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. The ...


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100.00

Masque Dan Déangle
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ivory Coast Mask

For the Dan, or Yacuba, living in western Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, the "d-" force that would animate the world would manifest itself in sculpted masks. This is how she seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to support him, and uses the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to see made. These masks of different types have social, spiritual and political functions, often evolving over time. Mask with regular features, whose losangic mouth evoking luscious lips forms a constant of masks dan, and whose split eyes belong to the type deanglé . Here it is decorated with a thick trimming of braided raffia, and rows of cauris arranged in decorative motif in the center of the skull. A bulge of curved fabric also the headdress. Dark, sained ...


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Guéré/Bété Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Guere Mask

Ex-collection French African tribal art.

African mask from Ivory Coast supposed to provoke fear, it is distinguished by side hooks, exposed metal teeth, and a forehead similar to a helmet. It also has a long horsehair moustache imprisoned in a resinous mass. Polychrome crusty patina. It is mainly in the west of the Ivory Coast that the Bété use masks related to the cult of the bagnon . The style of their dance masks has been influenced by the Wobe and Guéré populations, a group called Wé or "men who forgive easily", itself belonging to the Krou cultural group, these traditions having been transmitted and taught to them by the Nyabwa. Of warrior origin but also involved in conflict resolution, this sacred mask is worn accompanied by amulets that protect its wearer from ...


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Masque heaume Pende Kipoko, Giphogo
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Pende Mask

A village mask of the Eastern Pende and not of male association, the Kipoko mask (also named Mukishi wa Mutsue or Mbundju ) is a chief's mask associated with joy and thanksgiving. It is further used to close initiation ceremonies: each young initiate having to swallow a food item placed on Kipoko's circular chin strap while holding it by the ears.("Pende", Strother) Two-tone satin patina.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu River, while the Eastern have settled on the banks of the Kasai River below Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba, and Salempasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity, the realistic Mbuya masks, produced every ten years, have a festive function, ...

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Dan Zapkei mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

The African masks dan zapkei ge are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. This sober example is embellished with a braided hairstyle, whose two braids frame the face. The thin face has protruding lips. Smooth, velvety patina, coated with clay.
For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in the west of the Ivory Coast and in Liberia, the "dü" force that animates the world manifests itself in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that it seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to give him support, and uses the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to ...


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Alunga Bembe masker
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe masker

High concave orbits where a cross is drawn symbolizing the cardinal points make up this African mask this African mask topped with horns. The raffia or papyrus ornament, now missing, was attached to the perforations in the contours.
This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga) was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt.
Evocation of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during the festivals associated with the hunt and ancestor cults that it was displayed. They also appeared during Bwami circumcision ceremonies. Dark satin patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba offshoot that is said to ...


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