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African art - African mask:

The African mask is unquestionably and forcefully what it represents, what it embodies. It can be an ancestor, a spirit, etc .... Reason why African masks are treated like humans, they are nourished by offerings, they have personal sanctuaries. Most African masks are made to dance. Fang, Punu, Baoule, Lega, monochrome or polychrome, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic or even hybrid, coated with kaolin, rough or with a sacrificial patina, they are linked to ritual cults, with various functions (agriculture, initiation, funeral , enthronement etc ...) Some have a social role, legal, police, or peacemaker.


Bwa Mossi mask
African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

The African art sculptures of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently pick up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. The convex face of this mask indicates a provenance of the northeastern Mossi region. It is characterized by flat horns curved inwards, symbolizing a bush animal, and a narrow mouth with prominent lips. The circular eyes are hollowed out. The engraved patterns, with an extinct polychromy, are inspired by traditional body scarifications. Beautiful locally flaked matte patina.
The Mossi masks, personal or lineage, are an incarnation of guardian spirits offering their support. They perform at funerals, at the funerals of clan leaders, protect crops. True altars without their costume, they can receive libations ...


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350.00

Small holo zoomorphic mask
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African art > African mask > Holo Mask

This mask is capped with a tiara consisting alternately of braided vegetable fibers, laces, necklaces of pink pearls arranged horizontally, rattan pad and animal skin. The almond-eyed face, incised, extends with a bifid beak. The surface of the wood, abraded, reveals an underlying light wood.
Total height with base: 35 cm. Located in the Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and agriculture provide for their livelihood. Neighbouring ethnic groups, such as the Suku and Yaka, influenced their traditional sculptures. The Holos have produced hexagonal masks and prestige objects for the ruling elite. The Holos used sculptures, asexual anthropomorphic ...


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Glé Bété Dance Mask
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African art > African mask > Glé Bété Dance Mask

African art and dance Bété.

Hearing elements, evoking horns under which pierce two small circular eyes, combine in a spectacular composition.The conical nose develops above the philtrum. Then voluminous lips, half open, The piece is lined with nails, the brightness of which contrasts with the dark brown patina .. Residues of kaolin and red ocher vegetable powder It is mainly in the west of the Ivory Coast that the Bété use masks whose style has been influenced by the society of the masks gla of the populations Wobe and Guere, together called Wé or "the men who forgive easily", itself belonging to the cultural group Krou. transmitted and taught by the Nyabwa, of warlike origin but also involved in conflict resolution, this sacred mask is accompanied by amulets that protect ...


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Ci wara Bambara Crest Mask
African art > African mask > Ci wara mask

The Ti-wara in African art.
This would be an animal - genie called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambaras to cultivate the land. The latter recall the myth through the stylized representation of a hipporague antelope, whose name ci wara signifies of the earth. Decorated on the head and the sides of metal veneers engraved with repulsed, the ears and snout are also embellished with pom poms of cotton thread. The top of the horns tilted backwards is also sheathed with leather and hair. This vertical sculpture of Ci Wara is shown here with successive arches depicting the mane, so it is a male antelope. Masks usually danced as a couple. Mate patina, scattered abrasions.
Ported to the top of the skull and held in place by a basket-shaped toque, these cimiers accompanied the ...


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450.00

Songye Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask > Kifwebe Mask

Named kikashi , this African Songye mask has classic features. However, the ridge is dug along its entire length by a wide rib pierced with holes. Parallel furrows, encrusted with white kaolin, adorn the surface of the wood, symbolizing plumage and the link with death. Areas of abrasion, and cracks are noteworthy. Internal alterations. Skate abraded by time and use, dry and velvety.
Three variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "Chasing the mort" (Roberts) stand out: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest see absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, appears to originate from the adjacent area between the northern Luba and the Southeastern Songye. They are worn ...


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Beet Guéré Mask
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African art > African mask > Bété Mask

This imposing African mask, supposed to cause dread, is carved from dense wood and features mainly horns that meet head-on around an imposing buzzed nose and a protruding mouth highlighted with red pigments. Surmounting two openings that make up the eyes, the forehead forms an advance in flat, circular volume evoking a helmet. It is mainly in western Côte d'Ivoire that the Bété use masks related to the cult of the bagnon. The style of their dance masks was influenced by the populations Wobé and Guéré , an ensemble called Wé or "men who easily forgive ", itself belonging to the cultural group Krou , these traditions having them transmitted and taught by the Nyabwa. Of warlike origin but also involved in the resolution of conflicts, this sacred mask is worn with amulets that protect its ...


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Baoule  mask
African art > African mask > Baule Mask

African zoomorphic mask of the Baoulé, whose sculpted, twisted horns symbolize aggression and destructive power. A sacrificial victim for offerings and a metaphor for pugnacity, the baoulé bean mask is an allegory of strength. This mask appeared in the company of human masks during various ceremonies, including funerals or today during visits by distinguished guests. Break on the outer edge, ends of the missing horns. Satin two-tone patina.
On 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 is dead. They make up the majority of Côte d'Ivoire's population. In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext ...


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380.00

Mossi crest mask
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African art > African mask > Mossi Mask

African art at the Mossi.
It is in the northern centre of the Mossi country that this type of convex African masks, with a prominent central ridge, are carved. Despite openings for the eyes, these masks were worn at the top of the head, accompanied by a fiber suit. This mask depicts Balinga, the beautiful woman linked to Mossi mythology. Geometric patterns imbued with kaolin are dug on the matte and grainy surface. The eyes are surrounded by seeds of abrus, some of which are missing.
Stylistic similarities are sometimes noted with the zoomorphic masks of the dogon, a neighbouring people. Mossi masks, personal or lignagers, are an embodiment of tutelary spirits offering their support. They perform at funerals, at the funerals of clan leaders, protect the crops. Genuine altars ...


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Idoma crest mask
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African art > African mask > Idoma Crest

Ex-collection Belgian African art.
Idoma live at the confluence of Benué and Niger. There are 500,000 farmers and traders. The influence of their Igbo neighbours, the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups, generated great tribal similarities and stylistic borrowings. 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. A long wicker neck directs the gaze towards a head representing an idealized woman, whose braids are held together by a braid to form a ...


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Large Galoa Okukwé Mask
African art > African mask > Galoa Mask

Gabon and African art.

Divated into opposite zones of contrasting colors, this deep ovoid mask has features from which emanates a certain serenity. It is a judicial mask of the Okukwé society, worn for funerals, the birth of twins, or other major events. Patina matte abrased. Cracks and erosions.
The Galoa (or Galwa), a subgroup Pounou , live downstream from Lambaréné on the Ogooué River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. They are named 'the people of the lake'. They produced masks named Okouyi, Okukwé, used by initiation societies to reveal witchcraft and their authors through divination. Several neighbouring ethnic groups, including the Adouma and Kota, use contrasting colour flats in Gabon, including kaolin that is supposed to have apotropaic virtues. Groups in Gabon ...


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280.00

Douala Nyatti Mask
African art > African mask > Douala Mask

Very graphic, this African mask has a flat design topped with arched horns. The set evokes a stylized, narrow face of bovid (nyatti), flanked by two fins for the ears. Geometric combinations of contrasting colours embellish the surface. A metal blade showing the tongue extends the whole. Patina abraded.
Sculpated by the sculptors of Douala in the Bay of Cameroon, this type of zoomorphic mask were produced for the initiates of the society ekongolo, always active, in order to honor ancestors during ritual ceremonies, and wore like a helmet. This mask was also responsible, according to explorer Zintgraff, for hunting the uninitiated, which was also the role of grassland's Oku masks. The Douala, living at the mouth of the Wuri River, organized regattas where carved works, painted in ...


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350.00

Mask Mukisi a kukaya Luba Kifwebe
African art > African mask > Luba Mask

Parallel, bleached engravings are dug on this luba mask depicting a rooster with a bifide beak. These lines would symbolize the stripes of the antelope, the galleries emrpunted by the founding spirits of the company Bukishi , or the labyrinth that the initiates must go through. The Bukishi is a society of social and judicial control. Desication cracks, abrasions. Patina polychrome mate.
This type of zoomorphic mask kifwebe (sg.: bifwebe) comes from the Luba Upemba established on the banks of the Lualaba and on the shores of Lake Upemba. They have carved figures and insignia of prestige, but also, like the Luba of the east, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic masks. These masks performed in various ceremonies: investitures, funerals, and rituals against witchcraft in the various ...


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240.00

Bwami Lega Mask
African art > African mask > Masque League

Damaged on a game but losing nothing of its character, this African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which joined the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Lacks and abrasions of kaolin coating. On the base: 37 cm.
At the Lea, the society of the Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, 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 the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi, ...


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240.00

Large Baga Bansonyi Mask
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African art > African mask > Baga Mask

French tribal art collection.
This African mask, whose lateral inclination forms a peculiarity, is a naja snake with dilated pupils. The position is a special elegance to this sculpted work. Polychrome orange motifs adorn its surface. Locally peeled crusty patina. Old room.
As african serpentiform initiation group used mainly by Bulongic (Kifinda village), a subgroup Baga on Guinean coastline, its size can be as large as 2.50 m. These masks were divided into two groups bearing the names Mosolo kombo and Sangaran , each with specific functions. Their design took shape in an esoteric context, at night in the forest. Privileges of initiated men, embodying a spiritual entity, the Baga Sangaran masks attended only circumcision, every 24 years according to the ethnologist Denise ...


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Luba Kifwebe Mask
African art > African mask > Luba Mask

A semi-spherical mask, streaked with polychrome ribs, it adopts certain elements of the Songye masks of the Kifwebe, including the stretched eyelids and the geometrically projection mouth. However, it did not have the same function. This category of rather rare African masks are named 'bifwebe'. They appeared at funerals and investitures. They performed during the ritual ceremonies of the society kazanzi , charged with fighting witchcraft. " Bifwebe (Sing.: kifwebe) would mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, 'chasing death'. Worn with a voluminous raffia collar that concealed the dancer, this mask was usually danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. Patine mate.
Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu ...


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320.00

Toma Bakrogui Mask
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African art > African mask > Toma Mask

With two thick horns, this African mask associated with ancestors, the bakrogui , has only reduced orifices for vision. The headband is highlighted with a cord, and accompanied by a central pattern comparable to a horn and accessorized with a small bundle of vegetable fibers, and two cloth pouches, small talismans. The lower part forms a large rounded chin. Only members of the Poro were allowed to contemplate the mask bakrogui . Grainy surface.
The Toma of Guinea, called Loma in Liberia, live in the forest, at altitude. They are renowned for their landai board masks intended to animate the initiation rites of the association poro which structures their society, and which represent spirits of the bush. As soon as the mask appeared landaï , the initiates went to the forest to stay ...


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Guéré Mask
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African art > African mask > Guéré Mask

The African mask Guéré is known to be a complex piece in terms of both shapes and materials.

Before the 1960s, masks, whose elaboration was inspired by the visits of spirits during dreams, accompanied most activities such as war, dance, singing, hunting. Each of these masks had a name associated with its function. It remained the property of the dancer's lineage. The mass of the forehead decorated with a wool pad from which exceeds a sheep's horn is formed here in a visor, opposing the globular and cylindrical volumes of the two pairs of eyes. At the top, a skin, fixed by upholstery nails, is stretched on the wool. The mouth offers disparate metal teeth. The peripheral ornament consists of amulets in the form of balls, fangs and pouches filled with magic ingredients. If ...


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Senoufo Kpelie Mask
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African art > African mask > Senoufo Kpelie Mask

Mask who danced harvested after the Second World War.
In its traditional form, it is topped with a Kalao.
Brown Medina showing lighter areas.
The zoomorphic African masks of the 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 even appear at funeralsIn the senoufo society, the masks have names according to their specificity and correspond to a very specific choreography.
Sele-sold case.


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Pende Mbaangu Mask
African art > African mask > Pende Mask

Among the Mbuya des Pende masks, this tribal mask is distinguished by its slightly deformed features, but also by the contrast of colors from which each part of the face is coated. Indeed the clear kaolin had to contrast with the red ochre coating applied to half of the mask.L. de Sousberghe identified two types of masks, minganji plant fibers, associated with male society and uya wooden masks generally related to the village, with some exceptions however. This mask would represent the cripple, deformed on a section of the face, and manifests itself during a dance mimicking an epileptic seizure, but can also metamorphose into a hunter bewitched by members of his family after refusing to share meat. It is framed, around a solid frame of wicker, a canvas on which raffia fibers form like ...


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Ci wara Bambara horizontal crest
African art > African mask > Masque Bamana

The fifth initiation society Bambara , Bamana , is called tyiwara (here, cultivate, wara, fawn) and is still practiced today in some villages. These cimiers masks evoking the antelope, oryx or hippotrague daged depending on the case, come vertically and horizontally. Introducing themselves to the public in pairs, male and female, the wearers of the masks adopt a symbolic choreography in relation to agriculture. Belonging to the regional type Goso kun, emanating from the Bamako region, this horizontal crest is dotted with triangular incisions, patterns and hatches evoking the animal's coat. Its slender ears are punctured at regular intervals. Dark matte patina, abrasions and slight misses.
Ported to the top of the skull and held in place by a sort of small basket, these cimiers ...


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240.00

Gelede Yoruba Mask-Heaume
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African art > African mask > Yoruba Mask

The Gelede in African art.
In Nigeria, also in Benin, this African mask in the form of a janiform hem is accompanied by its costume in cotton cloth and colorful velvet. It is used for the rejoicing dances of the Gelede society, and on the occasion of the funeral of its followers. Two smaller faces fit sideways on the mask, associated with one of the many gods of the Yoruba pantheon.These masks occur in pairs, each with a specific name. Under the mask, two openings lined with cauris have been arranged in the fabric for the dancer's vision. The Gelede country in Nigeria pays tribute to mothers through a cult of fertility, especially the oldest of them, whose powers would be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa, and ancestors, osi and which can be used for profit but also ...


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