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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.


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

This type of African mask, available in different versions, was used during the tribal ritual of the Elanda male society. Embodying the spiritual entity Alunga, the mask presents horns and large concave eye sockets in the center of which the protruding eyelids are pierced. Evoking a forest spirit seeming to sing or whistle, this mask was kept in sacred caves. These masks appeared in various aspects during the circumcision and initiation ceremonies of the Bwami.
Matte patina, light abraded highlights, erosions.
Height on base: 54 cm. br /> The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch which is said to have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are marked by the influence of their neighbors in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, ...


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280.00

Toma mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Toma mask

French collection of African art This African mask of the bakrogui type, topped with small horns, is presented without eyes and in a modest version. The surface is coated with crusty residue, mainly on the forehead.
Only members of the Poro were allowed to contemplate the bakrogui mask associated with the ancestors.
Height on base: 39 cm.
The Toma of Guinea, called Loma in Liberia, live in the heart of the forest, at altitude. They are renowned for their landaï mask-boards intended to animate the initiation rites of the poro association which structures their society, and which represent spirits of the bush. As soon as the landaï mask appeared, the initiates went to the forest to stay there for a month during which they would be taught. At the end of this journey, ...


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290.00

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

Coated with contrasting colors, this african mask offers the traditional streaks inscribed on the bulge of the cheeks. A black line around the face in the heart joins a narrow mouth. Stand height: 54 cm.
Neighbours of the Yaka , Nkanu and Kongo in western Zaire, on the border of Angola, the Zombo fear, like the Kongo clans, a god named Nzambi. Their soothsayers use fetishes similar to those of the Kongo, ceremonies associated with initiatory rites, however, derive from yaka traditions. Fetish sculptures are used by ngangas to protect against bad luck, heal or cause luck, wealth and fertility. Male circumcision ceremonies nzo longo are accompanied by masked dances. These rituals take place around the youth retreat, for several months, during which the necessities of ...


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480.00

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

Humblet Art Dealer Collection of African Tribal Art Fang
Of an unusual structure thanks to the eccentric volume of the upper part of the face, this African mask framed by marked ears offers a striking appearance. Two-tone matt patina. Minor abrasions and cracks.
This type of mask was used by the ngil male society that no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The bearers of these masks, always in large numbers, appeared at night, lit by torches. Their intervention was also linked to the judicial function by pointing out the culprits of bad actions within the village. The Fang ethnic group, established in a region stretching from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, has never had political unity. ...


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390.00

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

Consisting of different color planes now tarnished and abraded, this African mask kpongadomba or " Pongdudu " was supposed to make invulnerable by terrifying the enemy. This mask of African art kpongadomba of the Boa was ordered by the leader kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior . It was then kept in his wife’s hut. The oversized ears are perforated as were the pavilions of the ears of the Eastern Boa. The " bavobongo " has a mouth full of teeth represented by sticks. Matt patina, erosions. Height on base: 43 cm.
Close to the Mangbetu and 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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280.00

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

This African zoomorphic crest mask, evoking a sawfish, was carved to honor Bini Oru, spirit of water, during masquerades owu. It was fixed horizontally on the top of the skull. A similar removable figure, in miniature, was placed on his back.
Patine mate, dry, use of polychromy.
Ijo masks are creatures born of the imagination that are usually related to aquatic life. Indeed, the Ijo-Kalabari living mainly from fishing and their small villages located in swampy areas, their cosmogony naturally centered around this environment.
Their masks and other artistic productions are intended to honor aquatic spirits, oro, whom they worship and to whom sacrifices were intended. Fishermen had to be careful not to offend these spirits or they could kill their wrath by means of the ...


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480.00

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


According to Marc Léo Félix, this late type of African mask named by the locals "La Belle Madeleine", would have followed from the end of the nineteenth century to the representations of female ancestors. This type of mediator mask, raised here with a touch of indigo, would embody a Catholic nun or a Marian figure. Matte patina, drawing cracks and minor chips.
Once ruled by the Luba and then by the Lundas, the Zela have adopted many of their customs and traditions. Established between the Luvua River and Lake Kisalé, they are now organized into four chiefdoms under the tutelage of leaders of Luba origin. They worship a primordial couple frequently depicted in statuary, mythical ancestors, and dedicate offerings to the spirits of nature. Ref.: "Luba" 5 Continents. ...


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380.00

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

Songola African Mask which was intended for the most senior members of the Nsubi society, the latter also initiating the wives. This mask borrows certain features from the Kumu and Mbole masks. Grainy, matte brown patina. Erosions.
Mingled by alliance with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the institution Luhuna composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live from hunting and fishing, they indulge in sculpture although the objects associated with the cult of Bwami come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the society Nsubi evoke those of the Mbole, other sculptures were preserved in baskets as in the Lega. ...


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180.00

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

Renowned in African tribal art, fang type masks also find their place in interior decoration. Among other African sculptures, these masks aroused the interest of Cubist and Surrealist artists.
Light eroded patina, desiccation cracks.
The Fang, established in a region stretching from Yaoundé in Cameroon to Ogooué in Gabon, have never had political unity. Clan cohesion was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the so and the ngil. The appearance of masks, generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fear. The Ngil male secret society, which no longer exists today, was responsible for initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a rite of purifying fire symbolized ...


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290.00

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

Thick braided raffia mats here realistically frame a face with fine, protruding features. Semi-matte black patina. Abrasions.
The Dan masks, of various styles, generally occur during very theatrical entertainment festivals where women play a leading role. The so-called "mocking" mask called Déanglé defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is sculpted in honor of the young girls of the village or renowned men. Each mask had a name linked to its function. Also used during circumcision rites, they appear in the company of the gle sö singing masks and the large go ge masks relating to the go society, who exercises justice and maintains social stability.


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240.00

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

This African mask was used during the ritual of the Elanda male society. The large concave orbits and the mouth seeming to whistle evoke a spirit of the forest. This type of mask was kept in the sacred caves. They appeared in various aspects during the circumcision and initiation ceremonies of the Bwami.
Matt patina, minimal kaolin highlights. Abrasions.
Stand height: 45 cm.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic trend are influenced by their neighbors 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 if the bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations ...


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380.00

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

This African mask of ntomo, an initiatory society of uncircumcised youth widespread in the Niger River region, is, like most Bamana masks, coated with a powder of charred coal. Grainy dark patina.
Erosions and drying cracks.
Established in central and southern Mali, in an area of savannah, the Bambara, "Bamana" or "unbelievers", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the great Mande group, with the Soninke and the Malinke. Mostly farmers, but also herders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali. Animists, they believe in the existence of a god Ngala who coexists with another androgynous god called Faro. The groups of Nyamakala artisans, more specifically the blacksmiths named numu, are in charge of the sculpture of ritual objects, endowed with nyama , ...


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160.00

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

The Makonde produce not only African facial masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies, but also body masks featuring the female bust. The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde revere an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Young Makonde boys and girls must undergo a period of seclusion of approximately six months, during which they are taught songs, dances and practical activities. The rules of behavior in adult life, sexual life and the obligations of marriage are discussed. This initiation ended with festive ceremonies featuring the male dancers midimu (sing. ndimu). The latter, wearing a female mask matched with a costume, the whole ...


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280.00

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

Mask offering an oval face, in which the heart-shaped orbits present an asymmetric look. Residual incrustations of kaolin. Golden patina. This carving indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, and which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. Height on base: 29 cm.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society 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 during the seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. In ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a fence and ...


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190.00

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

Wearing wicker balls and prolonged with a raffia goatee, this ceremonial African mask is linked to the society of warriors and initiation rites. It was also exhibited at funerals in connection with the deceased's previous initiations, and for payment in many cases. The power of some masks was also so feared that their name alone caused women and children to flee. These masks are distinguished by their bulbous forehead, wide nose and mouth revealing cut teeth. Dark satin patina, small erosions. Living from hunting and agriculture, warrior people, the Salampasu form a tribe of the Lulua group and are settled between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, east of the Kasai River. They are surrounded to the west and south of the Tschokwe and Lunda, and to the north and east of Kete and ...


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240.00

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

Igala mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Igala mask

Small crest mask surmounted by a scene representing subjects sitting back to back, framed by two discs evoking wheels.
In the region of the banks of the Benoué different variants of these African masks are in use. The groups living there, probably having as common ancestors the Akopo, resorted to frequent exchanges and loans. Established near the Niger estuary, speaking a kwa language, the Igala formed a powerful kingdom until colonization. Human sacrifices once accompanied these ritual feasts, giving this people the reputation of headhunters. The Igala have large helmet masks named agba during ceremonies that honour their king or at the funerals commemorating diginitaires. Other types of helmet masks are released during worship festivals egu celebrating the spirit of ...


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380.00

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

Idiok mask with large globes surmounts a toothed grin. Matte crusty patina, crackling, slight gaps. The Ibibios are a people of West Africa , mostly present in southeastern Nigeria (Akwa Ibom State), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Secret societies are numerous among the Ibibio settled west of the Cross River. The cult of the ancestors is under the authority of the highest ranking members of the Ekpo . The latter use masks such as the idiok , linked to the fallen spirits, and the mfon, representing the saved souls. Statues and puppets are used by ekon every seven years, through theatrical shows accompanied by music. Anang also use idiok ekpo masks.


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280.00

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

At the top of this African mask with stylistic elements Baule and Yohoure, Yaure, throne a feline, totemic animal. The glossy patina, like icy, offers shades from black to burgundy brown, enhanced with bleached details.
The African art of the Baoulé, Akan group established in the South-East of Côte d'Ivoire, includes a wide range of masks known for their quality, finesse and symmetry. On the one hand these African masks transposing the main features of the face of a very beautiful girl or a remarkable man, "masks-portraits", which were exhibited during particularly theatrical events where women played a great role, the other of the masks of conjuration, and initiation, intervening during ceremonies which were forbidden to them. Sacred masks, they could put their lives in ...


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240.00

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

African mask urhobo associated with a water spirit (edjorame), which occurred during major annual festivals. Extended in its rear part by a basketwork structure, it is topped with sculpted heads. Partially flaking crusty patina.
The Urhobos, living near the northwest of the Niger Delta River, form the major 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. Along with the Isoko, whose art is similar, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures representing the spirits of nature, edjo, or the founding ancestors of the clan, to whom sacrifices were offered, were grouped in sanctuaries within the villages. They also produce figures similar to the ikenga of the Igbo called iphri, ...


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240.00

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

This African mask covered with kaolin and devoid of scarifications is an unusual version of the white masks of Gabon, itengi, (pl. bitengi). Minor erosions.
In Art 1, this tribal mask of Gabon was associated with the various secret societies of Gabon, including the Bwiti, the Bwete and the Mwiri ("leader"), the latter being spread over several levels of initiation, of which all the Punu men belonged, and whose emblem was the caiman. The punu did not involve any masks in the Bwiti rituals, unlike the Tsogo. These powerful secret societies, which also had a judicial function, included several dances, including the leopard dance, the Esomba, the Mukuyi and the stilt dance Okuyi. This type of whitened kaolin mask, evoking a deceased woman, was exhibited during the ...


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280.00





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