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African art items:


We offer you a large selection of unique pieces of African art. Coming from private collections or purchased directly “in situ”, these works are the subject of a special study to determine their provenance as well as their conditions of acquisition. We make it a point of honor to offer our customers quality works of African art, old or contemporary, acquired within the framework of an ethical market. It is the history of these pieces that we invite you to discover through our gallery and websites.

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

African art among the Songyes.
This mask forms a small copy of the 'wooden mask' Kifwebe or (plural Bifwebe), the same type of which was produced by both Luba and Songye. The term Kifwebe refers to the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the secret male society bwadi bwa kifwebe which provided social control. There are three variants: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). Height on a base: 33 cm.

These african masks have holes on their outline so that they can attach a costume for the most important ceremonies, including a voluminous beard made of natural fibres. The white streaks would symbolize plumage and the ...


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160.00

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

The term Kifwebe refers to the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the male secret society bwadi bwa kifwebe that ensured social control. There are three variants: the masculine (kilume) usually with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). Velvety matt patina, abraded. Height on base: 32 cm
. These African masks have holes around their edges so that for the most important ceremonies, a costume can be attached, including a voluminous beard made of natural fibers. The white stripes symbolize the feathers and the link with death. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba, in Katanga and ...


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160.00

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

This small-sized Songye African mask, the kikashi, embodies a positive force. The palpebral clefts, half-closed, are stretched towards the temples, the nose and the protruding mouth. The discreet naso-frontal crest indicates that it is a female mask. Checkerboard patterns alternate on the white pigmented surface.
Abraded matte patina. Erosions.
Height on base: 36 cm.


Three variants of this mask Kifwebe ( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts), from the society of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or absent crest, and finally the tallest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border zone between the northern Luba and ...


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160.00

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

The Igbo-Afikpo distortion in African art
These African masks called "the time of the brave", sometimes under the appearance of elaborate superstructures, often offer horns, spikes, and zoomorphic elements to personify bravery. White kaolin, river clay linked to the ancestors, accompanies indigo highlights.
Lack, abrasions. Grainy matte patina.
These aggressive masks, accompanied by a motley paraphernalia of quills, raffia, palm leaves and weapons, occur during spectacular festivals during the dry season, the most famous being the okumkpa, and certain funerals. The bulkiest ones are worn by mature initiated men of the Ekpo society. Each of the mask wearers embodies a spirit whose name the mask adopts.
The Igbo live in the forest in the southeast of Nigeria. ...


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280.00

Songye Fetish
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye Fetish

Female sculpture nkishi (pl. mankishi) with a face decorated with metal strips. The barrel body is draped in textile. Among the Songye, the addition of various accessories, metal, gimmicks, etc. would reinforce the qualities of the fetish. Matte patina, resinous flows. Erosions and cracks, gaps.

These protection fetishes intended for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large examples are the collective property of an entire village, while smaller figures belong to an individual or family. 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 ...


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240.00

Ga anda iron
African art > Coins in bronze, black iron and other materials > Ga'anda iron

In the history of African art, these iron blades were used as currency but also for offerings, wedding dowries and of course for major festive and ceremonial occasions.
Professed in multiple abstract forms , these metal sculptures offer a most aesthetic appearance. Height on base: 89 cm. The Ga'anda, located on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon, are known for their terracotta intended for funeral rites.

"Before the colonial era, payments in Africa were never made using coins. Transactions were made using products considered valuable because they were rare, useful, or desirable: livestock, pieces of fabric, beads, cowrie shells, salt, kola nuts, and especially metals....But it was iron above all that attracted attention. It quickly became the unit of measurement in ...


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180.00

Baoule Statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Baoule Statue

Baoulé African art.
Tool of communication with the spiritual world or blolo, this male figure embodies the idealized spouse, who was the object of sacrificial offerings and libations. Heterogeneous semi-granular patina. Minor cracks.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual context: The Waka-Sona statues, “being of wood” in Baoulé, evoke an assié oussou, being of the earth. They are part of a type of statue intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien diviners, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate revelations from the beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the soothsayer's instructions, are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the Blolo bian or female, the blolo bia. Around sixty ethnic groups ...


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390.00

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

This African mask evoking a young woman was worn during the closing ceremonies of the Mukanda initiation. This mask was supposed to promote hunting, fertility, and harvests. Dark reddish-brown patina. Chips and abrasions.
Of Lunda origin, the Lwena (or even Lovale, or Luvale) emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed back by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia and near the Zambezi in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their honey-colored sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation rites of mukanda. This mask is engraved with circular patterns associated with ethnic scarifications. These details ...


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150.00

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

African mask with an ample rounded volume on which the only reliefs of the ridged nose and large perforated ears surmount a powerful curved jaw. The head bears decorative incisions evoking a braided hairstyle.
Beautiful dark satin patina. Minimal losses, abrasions and splits.
In the north-west of Zaire, south of Oubangui, on the banks of the Lualaba, live the 120,000 Ngombe of the Bantu language, led by a chief and a warrior society Elombe. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka whose statuary has had an influence on their tribal sculpture, and various banda groups. Their masks of geometric appearance intervene during the rites of the mani society. They also produce protective hunting fetishes and prestige objects adorned with upholstery nails.


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190.00

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

Despite the absence of streaks running along the nasal bridge, this African mask would come from the Ngombe territory but could also be of Zande origin. The heart-shaped orbits shelter coffee-bean eyelids, the thin, short nose highlights the large toothed mouth, hollowed out in a prognathic jaw. Smooth reddish-brown patina. Small accidents.
In the north-west of Zaire, south of Oubangui, on the banks of the Lualaba, live the 120,000 Ngombe of the Bantu language, led by a chief and a warrior society Elombe. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka whose statuary has had an influence on their tribal sculpture, and various banda groups. Their masks of geometric appearance intervene during the rites of the mani society. They also produce protective hunting fetishes and ...


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240.00

Zande Statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Zande Statue

Among the Azande African art statues, there are Kudu statues representing ancestors and Yanda statues of lower dimension, in animal or human form, having an apotropaic role. With a particularly geometric design, this sculpture offers a semi-spherical head with oversized orbits. The barrel bust has protruding arms framing the outgrowth of the umbilicus. A thick cylindrical base prolongs the morphology. Mottled clear patina. Desication crack on the back, abrasions. br> Formerly designated under the name "Niam-Niam" because considered as cannibals, the tribes grouped under the name of Zande, Azandé, settled, coming from Chad, on the border of the R.D.C. (Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. The name of their ethnic group means: "those who own a lot of land", an allusion to their ...


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140.00

Banda Statuette
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Banda Statuette

Small stylized figure whose barrel bust, surmounting the arc of stubby legs, offers arms arranged in a triangle, a frequent detail of the Ubangian region. The functions of these statuettes are comparable to those of the Ngbaka of the Mani-Yanda society, within the framework of therapeutic rites or in preparation before the hunts. Brown satin patina. Minor cracks, slight loss.
The banda group, Mbanza, Mabanja, or Banza, made up of about fifty sub-groups, dispersed in Sudan, southern Chad, the Central African Republic, and the North-West of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It has various initiatory associations dedicated to spirits and uses sculptures. Banda sculptural traditions have influenced the ethnic groups of Ubangui, Zande, Ngbandi, Ngbaka....
Ref. : "Art of ...


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140.00

Zande Statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Zande Statue

Made by the Mbanza, Banja or Banda, cousins of the Ngbaka in Ubangi, this African figure was used like those of their neighbors in the context of therapeutic rites or in preparation before hunts. Grainy black patina, missing parts.
The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the DRC, south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live in the east and the Ngombe in the south. The banda group, made up of around fifty subgroups, has spread across Sudan, southern Chad, the Central African Republic, and the northwest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has various initiatory associations dedicated to spirits and using sculptures. Banda sculptural traditions have influenced the Ubangui, Zande, Ngbandi, Ngbaka ethnic groups....
Ref. : "Art of Sub-Saharan Africa" C. Mullen ...


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160.00

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

African mask quite similar to the "Déanglé", haloed with a bead of fabric covered with rope. The gaze is underlined, the projecting mouth reveals the teeth. Irregular surface, velvety patina, kaolin residue.
It was following dreams in which the spirits would manifest themselves that the masks were sculpted according to precise indications, in order to be honored through their appearances.
The Dan masks, of various designs, generally occur during very theatrical entertainment parties where women play a preponderant 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 famous men. Each of the masks had a name related to its function. Also used during circumcision rites, ...


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280.00

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

Belgian African art collection
African mask said Minyangi , a reduced version of the giphogo , marking the right to collect fees from subordinate chiefs following circumcision rituals. This mask has become flatter over time to fit the chieftain's hutch door. The growths on the top do not represent horns, but symbolize the arms of the chief.
The Pende Westerners live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners have settled on the banks of the Kasaï downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity, the Mbuya masks, realistic, produced every ten years, take on a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief, the ...


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160.00

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

African mask of the "giphogo" type, triangular, the smaller versions of which served as protective amulets. Some could be brandished in the hand during ceremonial dances.
Matte red ocher patina. Abrasions. Height on base: 31 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners 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 Mbuya masks, realistic, produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters difficult to differentiate without their costume, including the chief fumu or ufumu, the soothsayer and his wife, the ...


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160.00

Kuba Cup
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Kuba Cup

Like their Kuba neighbours, the Lele have a wide variety of ceremonial sculptures, such as this cup with many carefully engraved details, used during divination rites, pacts and ritual ceremonies. Satin black patina, minor chips.
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige items created for members of the high ranks of their society. Several Kuba groups indeed produced anthropomorphic objects with refined motifs including cups, drinking horns and goblets. The Lele are established in the west of the Kuba kingdom, at the confluence of the Kasai and Bashilele rivers. The intercultural exchanges between the Bushoong of the Kuba territory and the Lele have made the attribution of certain objects difficult, because the two groups use the same iconography, composed of faces with ...


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120.00

Lele cup
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Lele cup

Among the prestigious objects of the Kuba groups, this cephalomorphic cup decorated with geometric motifs has a handle. Shiny patina. Damaged upper contours. Desiccation crack.
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the higher ranks of their society. Indeed, several Kuba groups produced anthropomorphic objects with refined designs including cups, drinking horns and beakers. The Lele are established in the west of the Kuba kingdom, at the confluence of the Kasai and Bashilele rivers. Intercultural exchanges between the Bushoong of the Kuba territory and the Lele have made the attribution of certain objects difficult, as both groups use the same iconography, composed of faces with elaborate hairstyles and geometric decorative ...


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120.00

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

This African mask Makonde would embody an ancestral spirit. The ancestors would return masked in order to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. The modeling of the face in which the features pierce gives a particular naturalism to this mask which reveals an old yellow patina covering a first flesh-colored coating. In view of the perforations on the sides, accessories (hair, textiles, etc.) had to adorn the head. Abrasions, chips and cracks. br> Height on base: 30 cm.
The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Besides the face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that ...


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380.00

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

Always worn by higher-ranking initiates, this African mask embodying a female ancestor displays the fine features of the Pwo and a cleverly elaborate raffia hairstyle, extending into a cotton hood. Matte brown patina.
Height on base: 35 cm.
Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subject to the Lunda empire. African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the Pwo woman and appear today during festive ceremonies. Joined to their male counterparts, chihongo recognizable by their large tray-shaped headdress, the pwo are supposed to bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic patterns present on the forehead, ...


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170.00

Tschokwe mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask

Always worn by initiates of higher rank, this type of African mask embodying a female ancestor was often embellished with buttons and accessories of European origin. Raffia braids adorn the hairstyle and the face offering the classic traditional features and marks of the Pwo. Satin black patina.
Height on base: 43 cm.

Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the woman Pwo and appear nowadays during festive ceremonies. Joined to their male counterparts, chihongo ...


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170.00





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