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The achievements of African tribal art fascinated many European artists and collectors in the 20th century. From André Breton to Picasso, all were seized with a buying fever that quickly spread in the middle. If these sculptures are more of an artistic dimension for Westerners, it is nevertheless through their ritual sacralisation that they reveal themselves for the African peoples. Their ceremonial role confers on them a unique power that distinguishes them from other forms of ethnic art. These works were acquired (sold or offered by natives) throughout the twentieth century by ethnologists on mission or colonial cooperatives to be exhibited in museums, or integrated into prestigious private collections. This is the story of these pieces that we propose to discover through our gallery and our website.

Dogon Kanaga polychrome mask
African art > African mask > Dogon Mask

The Kanaga African Mask of the Dogon is generally designed according to a recurring structure: a vertical central plank, with arms attached by leather ties and an anthropozoomorphic mask with angular features. The polychrome pigments, carefully applied to this copy, were refreshed before each performance.
Patine mate. Slight cracks.
In the funeral rites, members of the Wa society dance with masks on the roof of the house of the dead, to lead his soul (nyama) to its eternal rest and to defend the living. The Kanaga mask is also used to protect hunters from revenge from the prey they have killed.
In the preliminary to the funeral or mourning, many almost all identical copies appear on the dance floor, after having circulated in the alleys of the village. Depending on the ...


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450.00

Altar with rider Yoruba
African art > African Statues > Statue Yoruba

Glorifying an ancient deified king, a rider figure surrounded by servants forms the central subject of the scene established on a circular plateau supported by four feet. This sculpture is associated with the cult sango symbolized by a double axis. The equine, rare in the region, was an attribute of prestige that was reserved for the nobility and the sovereigns. At the top an arch connecting the heads is carved from an iguana or crocodile surrounded by snakes. Focused on the veneration of his gods, or orisà, the religion yoruba relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by sculptors at the request of followers, soothsayers and their clients. These spirits are supposed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare. Grainy dark patina with revealed ...


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370.00

Luba Cup Carrier
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > New product

The divination cups in African tribal art

Statue depicting a woman in a kneeling position wearing the cup mboko , a calabash filled with kaolin, symbolizing purity and the spiritual world, and whose visitors to the king were doused out of respect. These containers were used by different Luba societies, more generally by the mediums of the divination society Kilumbu, Bilumbu, or by the healers of the society Buhabo. The soothsayers Mbudye also used it. The bust of this female figure sports the diamond scarifications that the Luba love, while a complex headdress recalls that formed of braids organized around metal structure. His eyelids are closed in a delicately patterned face, giving him a peaceful interiority. According to P.Nooter these figures represented the wife of the ...


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Urhobo Ohworu Mask
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African art > African mask > Urhobo Mask

The Urhobos, living near the northwest of the Niger Delta River, form the main ethnic group of the Delta State among the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They speak Urhobo, a language of the Niger-Congo group. Together with the Isoko, whose art is close, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures depicting the spirits of nature, edjo, or the founding ancestors of the clan, to whom sacrifices were offered, were grouped in shrines within the villages. They also produce figures similar to the ikenga of igbo called iphri , ivwri , of half-animal form half-human. They personify male aggression and are intended for warriors and notables. However, after consultation with the soothsayer, young children can also wear miniature iphri in the form of geometric amulets, ...


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Masque facial Markha
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African art > African mask > Markha Mask

A narrow face where the nasal ridge overcomes a thin protruding mouth, a pointed jaw, this sculpture marked with brass leaves is a specificity of the sculptures marka. Slightly speckled matte patina.
In African art, the Marka , Maraka en Bamana, Warka, or Sarakolé, are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, settled in southern Niger, scattered since the end of the Ghana Empire in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. They now speak bamana and have adopted much of the Bambara traditions, such as Ntomo and Koré , initiation societies that used masks during their ceremonies. The sculptors of African art Bambara and Marka are part of the Numuw , who are not related to an ethnic group and are free to establish themselves wherever they want.


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Masque Kuba/Bushoong Nibita
African art > African mask > Bushoong Mask

Equipped with two thick horns, this Bushoong mask, a Kuba subgroup, has half-closed eyelids, a triangular nose with an embossed rib, and a protruding toothed mouth. There are orange motifs on the face. The skull cut also illustrates the kuba hairstyles partially shaved on the temples. A specificity: the embossed patterns of horns, bordering the features of the face. This mask is associated with initiation ceremonies. Two-tone patina.
High on a base: 54 cm.
The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong which are still ruled by a king today. It is the most prolific group in Western Kasai. In the south of the country Kuba, at the confluence of the Kasai and Lulua rivers, live the Biombo , whose traditional masked ceremonies bear similarities to those of their ...


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450.00

Cavalier Dogon and his mount
African art > African bronze > Cavalier Dogon

The elegance of proportions and attitudes, in this work of African art made in bronze, has been translated with talent by the dogon blacksmith. The latter form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim . They now produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. " They are also supposed to treat burns (Huib Blom). The frequent representations of the rider, among the Dogon of Mali, refer to their cosmogony and their complex religious myths. Indeed, one of the Nammos, ancestors of men, resurrected by the creator god Amma, descended on the earth carried by an arch transformed into a horse. Moreover, the highest authority of the Dogon people, the religious leader appointed Hogon , paraded on his mount during his induction because it was customary to set foot on the ground. In the region ...


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250.00

Bulu monkey hem mask
African art > African mask > Boulou Mask

A mask of a male gorilla, it has a circular area at the top of the area where raffia and seeds of amb trapped in a clay cluster have been arranged. A basket repair was carried out on the reverse. Locally cracked polychrome crust pigments.

The Boulou, an ethnic group of the Fang, live in Cameroon, on the border of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo, on a vast plateau within the equatorial forest near the Bakwele, whose customs and customs are comparable. Like the Fang of South Cameroon with white masks of justice, the Boulou also used the Ngil ritual to counter witchcraft and poisoning. The future initiates, following their integration into the secret society, identify with the Ngi , fierce iconic gorilla. The Ngil society, which carried out executions of sorcerers, was banned ...


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290.00

Baule Aries Mask
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African art > African mask > Baoulé Mask

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.
Noir, ivory, and red brown. Satin 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 for a refined artistic expression ...


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Large Songye Kifwebe Mask
African art > African mask > Songye Mask

This mask with imprecative function, streaked with broad contrasting bands, and whose naso-frontal ridge continues in high summit ridge, would be masculine. To the different areas of these masks (including the beard, the suit and the body of the wearer) is attached a particular symbolism: the mouth for example would embody the beak of a bird and the fire of the sorcerer.
High on a base: 70 cm.
Patine abrased mate, cracks and gaps. br>
This types of African art mask ' Kifwebe (or songy mask) are listed: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or absent, and finally the greater embodying power (kia ndoshi). The songye sculptor had a high status within the society bwadi and also produced various objects of ...


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490.00

Grand Tyiwara, ci wara, vertical
African art > African Statues > Sculpture Bamana

Deployed in an imposing format, this sculpture linked to the cult ci wara symbolizes an animal - genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara 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. The shapes of these cimiers, however, vary from region to region across Mali. This sculpture was probably intended for an altar. Dark skate, mate. Abrasions and cracks.
Ported to the top of the skull and held in place by a sort of small basket, these cimiers accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tion , an association dedicated to agricultural work. The masks bound the field as they leaped to drive out nyama, evil scents, and to detect any danger, or to flush out evil ...


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490.00

 Luba
African art > Usual african items > Luba

Taking the characteristics of the shields of the kifwebe company, this miniature sculpture adorned the square of its holder. The mask of the Luba appears in high relief. 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. In the Luba, white is synonymous with the relationship with the spiritual world, by the evocation of the moon evoked by the circular shape of the object. Parallel stripes streak the surface, they were ...


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210.00

Fang Hybrid Mask of So o
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African art > African mask > Fang mask

It was during the initiation of the young men at the Fang and Ntumu of southern Cameroon, during the ceremonies of the so or red antelope, that this anthropomorphous African mask with horns was exhibited. The gaze formed of two thin horizontal slits sheltered under the frontal space colored with red, the grimace of the mouth revealing incisions representing the teeth, the contrast of colors, livid and sanguine, were not lacking, during the nocturnal appearances of the mask Fang to provoke some emotion among the initiates. Cracking of the wood on the jugal area. The Fang, formerly named Pahouins, are divided into several sub-groups in three countries, Cameroon, Gabon, and the mainland of Equatorial Guinea. Mainly hunters, they also practice agriculture. Their social cohesion rests on the ...

Benin court dwarf in bronze
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African art > African Statues > Benin Statue

Simply dressed, the character with rounded volumes offers an imposing head with protruding cheekbones in which the sunken eyes could indicate blindness. The folded arms with clenched fists give the silhouette an idea of movement and vigour. The legs are proportionally reduced. Beautiful spotted patina, golden reflections. In African art, Benin art is described as court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba.
The dwarves of the king's entourage, which appeared in the 15th century, were intended not only for diversion, but also for surveillance. They were given occult gifts. According to Fagg, these characters were also acrobats and illusionists. Their bronze figures were to garnish the altars of the ancestors.

Before the destruction of the palace ...

Statue of Theose Senoufo
objet vendu
African art > African Statues > Statue Senoufo

With a crest evoking a stylized animal figure, this slender male sculpture offers graceful limbs widening at the hands. They lie on both sides of the basin. The barely bent legs disappear into a pilon-forming base, called sedine or dol according to the dialect. Black glossy patina. Desication cracks.
The Senoufos , a name given to them by French settlers, are mainly made up of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo. Each of them has its own association Poro which introduces young boys from the age of seven into a succession of three cycles lasting seven years. Figurative ...


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Statue of Congo Vili Nkondi Nkisi
African art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

The statuary of African tribal art Kongo is illustrated by different expressive postures. The gesture against would reflect a warlike and aggressive attitude, confirmed by the presence of multiple nails with apotropic but also offensive aims. The elements bilongo conferring additional powers on this statue are placed in the abdominal cavity that is obstructed by a mirror. The dagger is also missing. The face of the Nkondi reflects an aggressiveness reinforced by the open mouth and the large dark pupils.
Shez the Kongo, nganga se charged rituals by activating a spiritual force with a nkondi (pl. nkissi). The term nkisi was then used to refer to the terms of 'sacred' or 'divine'. The most influential category of 'minkisi kongo' consisted of instruments to help regional leaders enforce ...


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650.00

Dogon pharmacopoeia box
African art > Usual african items > Dogon Box

Decorated with bas-relief motifs, this African art sculpture, a box with two moving shutters, set on three feet, was probably designed to preserve active medicinal preparations prepared according to the advice of elders who had been introduced to the science of trees or . jiridon. The figures of 'nommos', primordial ancestors, and animal symbols are supposed to activate the healing power of the actives. Light brown patina.
The Dogons are a people renowned for their cosmogony, their esotericism, their myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger Loop in mali's Mopti region (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). Villages are often perched atop scree at the hillside, ...


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250.00

Cavalier Sao Sokoto Putchu Guinadji
African art > African Rider > Horseman Sao

This bronze has a copper patina. The warrior depicted on his mount has his head wrapped in a choir identical to those of the Tuareg.

In African art, The Works of Sao Sokoto Inspiration are mostly imprinted with the equestrian world. Within the ethnic group, small specimens of riders usually in bronze are melted and worn like talismans, patinated and lustrous by friction. They are seen above all as a remedy to fight possession by evil spirits. The horse represents the spirit of the person who is possessed, while the genius who possesses it is symbolized by the rider. Subjected to the successive onslaughts of their neighbours in Kanem and then to hordes from the east, the Sao had to abandon their lands to settle in northwestern Cameroon where they mixed with the natives giving ...


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125.00

Luvale / Chokwe Mask
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African art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

Originally from Lunda, the Lwena emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, repelled by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, other groups found refuge in Zambia, forming the Luvale, Lovale. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena and Luvale became known for their sculptures embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks related to the initiation rites of the mukanda, a secret male association shared by all these groups in the same territory, with some variations, however. Their sculpture was largely influenced by that of the Chokwe. The masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are named in Zambia as 'makishi' (sing. likishi). This name comes from 'kishi', a Bantu concept that evokes the manifestation ...


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Kasai Shoowa Velvet
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African art > African Textile > Textile Cuba

Belgian African tribal art collection.
African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
Products to Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, a subgroup Kuba , these fabrics forming real paintings of first art, consist of a textile base in raffia on which threads are cut to the brim, forming a velvet effect accentuated by the contrasts of tone. The geometric patterns formed represent the body scarifications of the ethnic group or the decorations of the sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. In many cases they took the value of money, or they also followed their owners into the grave by covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the velvet weaving technique to Kuba ...


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Bwami Lega Mask
African art > African mask > Masque League

This mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. It is open to men and women. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality. Dark brown patina abraded. Kaolin residue.
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, is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, men hunt ...


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380.00





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