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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.


Yela mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yela mask

African mask with deep colored streaks that reinforce the fine features of the face.
The Tetela and Yela groups are of Mongo origin and are neighbors. The sculpture of the Tetela takes various forms, borrowed from the clans they rub shoulders with, among which songye inspirations with polychrome works. Several ethnic groups divided into lineages live closely intertwined in central Zaire: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko ,and have similar associations. This proximity has generated some stylistic borrowings. Their artistic production has great analogies with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were exhibited at the closing ceremonies of initiation and circumcision of the young people of the divination society nkunda, during which their "nsembu" or ...


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380.00

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

Related to the spirit of an Igbo maiden "agbo-gho mmuo", but worn by young men during harvest festivals or celebrations associated with the spirit of the land, this African mask reduced in size submits to Igbo aesthetic traditions celebrating youth: face coated in white, tattoos and scarified motifs.
Spotted matte patina. Height on base: 53 cm.

The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They managed to combine a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. Their political system is complex and little known. The village is the most important social unit, the smallest being the extended family. Each village has a high degree of autonomy and is placed under the authority of the oldest lineage head. The religion of ...


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280.00

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

With an atypical structure, this mask embellished with pompoms and metal leaves combines animal, antelope, and human elements, reminiscent of the Ci Wara crests of the Bambara. Velvety, mottled, grey-brown patina.
The Markha are organized into structured and hierarchical mask societies as found in many other ethnic groups. They have an initiatory language, a means of communication in the hands of initiates. The Markha, also called Warka, live in the north of Bambara territory and have therefore been influenced by them, particularly in the design of their masks. The Markha, like the Bambara and the Bozo, have the particularity of adorning their statuary with brass plates incised with motifs. Their puppets are also renowned. Apart from the points of similarity between Markha and ...


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380.00

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

Modest dimensions for this flat and circular mask, abstract, haloed with fibers and feathers, named Gitenga, which was held on the face thanks to the fish net attached to the posterior contours. It is a police mask of the circumcision camp, representing the sun at sunrise and sunset. Leon de Sousberghe has identified two types of masks, minganji plant fibers, associated with male society and mbuya wooden masks generally related to the village, with some exceptions however.
The seed live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of Tshikapa. The influences of the neighbouring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu, were imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the masks Mbuya, ...


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390.00

Bozo Bust
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bozo Bust

Bozo polychrome works in African art from Mali.
Crest mask depicting a woman's bust, or even a habitable puppet element. Vivid polychrome patina, abrasions, drying cracks.
The Bozo, mostly fishermen and farmers, live in the northern part of the Bambara country in the interior Niger delta and today still remain semi-nomadic, moving their homes according to seasonal floods. Mande-speaking people, they speak Sorogama. Within their group, we distinguish the Sorko or Sorogo, the Hain, and the Tie. In addition to their remarkable traditional masks, the Bozo and the Bambara are renowned for their puppets of varied dimensions and frequently articulated, exhibited during the Sogow bo puppet theater which is organized at the initiative of young people from the villages, mainly in ...


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240.00

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

This ancient African mask shares with the Ngbaka sculpture and that of the Ngbandi a striated edge whose crenellation is reproduced on the chin. Small ears, extended by raised temples also striated, stand out in height. The lower part of the face forms a projection. Brown patina rubbed with kaolin.
In the northwest of Zaire, south of the Oubangui, on the banks of the Lualaba, live the 120,000 Bantu-speaking Ngombe, led by a chief and a warrior society Elombe i>. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka whose statuary had an influence on their tribal sculpture, and different banda groups. Their geometric-looking masks are used during the rites of the mani society. They also produce hunting fetishes with protective purposes, and prestigious objects decorated with upholstery ...


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380.00

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

The African art of Ivory Coast and its fantastic masks.
Tubular pupils symbolizing the gifts of divination, a quadrangular mouth and horns at the top characterize this African mask Kru, or even Krou anthropo-zoomorphic . Matte irregular surface, polychrome highlights.
The Kru are divided into twenty-four subgroups which include the Grebo, settled in the south of Liberia and the southwest of the Ivory Coast. Their leader is the bodio, who lives as a recluse. Unlike most of the populations of West Africa, they are not subject to Poro society. Their masks with tubular growths would be of oubi origin, and could symbolize the mythical creatures which inhabit the forests of the banks of the Cavally, to which the people address through ritual ceremonies. The interest of Cubist ...


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390.00

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

African mask used among the Lega during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. The latter is open to men and women.
The passage of a grade indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality.
Irregular patina locally chipped.
Height on base: 43 cm.
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 their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these individuals live in autonomous villages surrounded by palisades, generally on hilltops. The role of leader, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ...


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190.00

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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190.00

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

The Luba dominated the Tabwa in the Lake Tanganyika region between Zaire and Zambia. "Tabwa" or " being attached" presumably refers to the system of slavery practiced in the past by Islamic merchants.
The Tabwa then regained their independence thanks to the wealth provided by the ivory trade. Just as the influence of the Luba is noticeable in the societies and rites of the Tabwa, the Tanzanian tribes have also marked the tabwa statuary with regard to geometric decorative motifs.
Helmet mask depicting a face with expressive features, crowned with a circular headdress of a brown contrasting with the honey patina of the piece. The eyes are composed of cauris, giving the character a strange half-closed look. The nose has a flat volume, as crushed, over a mouth largely hollowed ...


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150.00

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

Streaked with bands of contrasting colors, this mask offers a large crest arched towards the back. The tubular eyelids and geometric mouth seem to propel from the face. Matte patina, erosions, gaps and cracks. Height on base: 58 cm.
Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would have a more modest or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features often used ...


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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

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

The specificity of this African maskSongye lies in the large space between the very reduced nose and a lippy mouth, giving it an unusual character. Two-tone matte flaked patina. br /> Height on base: 61 cm.


Three variants of this mask Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts), from the company of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, is worn by a Kifwebe dancer in a state of "bwadi" trances, accessorized with a long braided costume and a long adornment in natural fibers attached to the outlines of the mask, during major ceremonies. The Songye came from the Shaba ...


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290.00

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

Characteristics of the Mbagani, Babindji, the oversized orbits framing a triangular nose, the projected volumes of the forehead, mouth and chin also form distinctive elements of the Mbagani, including we find certain traits among the Lwala, or Lwalu. The small growths at the top could represent an element of hairstyle.
The Mbagani come from the Mpasu group, which has now disappeared, itself a subgroup of the Lulua, or Béna Lulua, and of which the Salampasu. Along with the Ding, they form a group of 50,000 individuals established in the DRC, in Kasai, near the Angolan border. They were marked by the influence of their neighbors Lunda and the former occupants Tchokwé. Organized into small independent chiefdoms, they mainly cultivate corn, with women embroidering the textiles ...


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290.00

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

A bulbous forehead crowned with wicker spheres, diamond-shaped eyes, a large nose and sharp teeth make up this Mukinka mask of the Salampasu. Copper rectangles line its surface. This ceremonial mask, linked to the warrior society, was displayed at funerals in connection with the deceased's previous initiations. It also participated in initiation rites. Some of these masks were so feared that their name alone made women and children run away.
Height including beard: 68 cm. Living of hunting and agriculture, warlike people, the Salampasu form a tribe of the Lulua group and are installed between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, in the East of the Kasaï river. They are surrounded to the west and south by the Tschokwe and Lunda, and to the north and east by ...


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240.00

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

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

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





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