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African art items:


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.

Kongo Yombe female figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kongo statue

The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed their naturalistic statuary and religious rites, in particular by means of nkondo nkisi carved fetishes. This naturalist figure wearing a dignitary's headdress, a symbol of the mythical ancestor probably associated with fertility cults, is represented seated, legs crossed. This posture was adopted by dignitaries during important meetings. The arms behind the back would symbolize the restraint, attention and reflection that a problem requires. Black oiled patina. Crack. In the thirteenth century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of present-day DRC, Angola and Gabon. Two centuries later, the Portuguese came into ...


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280.00

Ngbandi, Wangandi mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ngbandi mask

The Ngbaka, Ngbandi and Ngombe wear a scarification on the forehead that extends over the bridge of the nose, and it is here in the form of a discreet crenellation on the forehead that this traditional mark appears. This type of mask appeared in pairs during the Ngbandi gaza initiations. Polychrome patina evoking the animal world. Erosions. Height on base: 45 cm. In the northwest of Zaire, south of the Ubangi, 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 the Ngbaka whose statuary has influenced their tribal sculpture, and various banda groups. Their sometimes geometric-looking masks are used during the rites of the mani society. In addition, they produce hunting ...


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280.00

Bete / Gouro facial mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bete mask

A ridge divides vertically the immense forehead of the mask opposite. This is a striking feature of the statuary from the area between the Guro and the Bétés.  Lumpy clusters of kaolin represent the white hair of an elder, and tapestry nails highlight the upper half of the face. This mask, whose function remains poorly documented, would symbolize male strength, and perhaps also a powerful notable named "migone". Grainy patina, kaolin and red ochre highlights.
The Bété form a tribe established on the left bank of the Sassandra River in southwestern Côte d'Ivoire. Close to the Kouya and the Niabwa, the workmanship of their masks, as well as their function, include great similarities.

"Guro" ed. 5Continents.


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140.00

Songye skeleton figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Songye statue

Dit vreemde, uitgemergelde beeld van een skelet is een zeldzaam object onder de Songye beeldhouwwerken, die hoofdzakelijk uit fetisjen bestaan. Hoewel de functie ervan onbekend is, lijkt het waarschijnlijk dat het verband houdt met voorouderverering.
De Songye kwamen uit de Shaba-regio van de DRC en vestigden zich langs de Lualaba-rivier te midden van de savanne en de bossen. Hun samenleving is op patriarchale wijze georganiseerd. Hun geschiedenis is onlosmakelijk verbonden met die van de Luba met wie zij verwant zijn via gemeenschappelijke voorouders. De Ilande vormen een Songye-subgroep die in de buurt van Luba-gebieden woont. Dankzij de waarzeggerij, die zeer sterk aanwezig was in hun samenleving, konden tovenaars worden opgespoord en kon licht worden geworpen op de ...


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Lengola figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lengola figure

The stylized African art of the forest tribes.
Female figure with a flat face crossed by a long nose, probably associated with statuettes named akunga that were used by members of the female ekongo society. Dark lustrous patina.
The Lengola , are established near the Metoko in the center of the Congolese basin between the Lomami and Lualaba rivers, a primary forest people dedicated to the worship of a single God, a rare monotheism in Africa. Their society,the Bukota, welcoming both men and women, is the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. Their sculptures, subject to the influence of the neighboring Mbole, Lega and Binja, played a role during initiation,funeral or circumcision ceremonies, and were then placed on the tomb of high rank initiates. Each of ...


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280.00

Lega Bwami initiation statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega statue

The African art lega and initiation supports Sakimatwematwe (Multi-headed).
Belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used in the course of initiations, this sculpture is in the form of a central trunk carried by tall legs. Clustered faces look toward the four cardinal points.
In relation to a Lega proverb, endowed with two or more heads, this sculpture would always illustrate the need for a global vision of events, and therefore the prudence, wisdom and impartiality that should follow.(Biebuyck 1973) The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, which largely referred to proverbs ...


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250.00

Head Kronkronbali Komaland
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African art > Terracotta, jar, amphora, funerary urn > Head Komaland

Ex-French tribal art collection.
Typical in African art, the kronkronbali Komaland heads, meaning " children of yesteryear", have marked features, often roughly. A mouth with luscious lips. The eyes, nose, eyebrows, beards and whiskers are, more often than not, formed of earthen bulges. The head, at the top, is concave and pierced.
These heads appear to have been sculpted as such, without bodies, reminiscent of the statuary Akan or Anyi. They look like a kind of cork, pressed in a circular way around tumuli, tombs themselves circular and covered with stones. Search subject.
The first ones were discovered in the 1970s and 1980s by German anthropologists who dated them between the 13th and 19th centuries. Base included.


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Yaoure, Yohoure mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yauré mask

Topped with a crescent motif, this African mask from the lo presents a face with regular features that is outlined by a crenellated border. The refinement of this type of mask appearing today during celebrations reveals the talent of the sculptors of African tribal art in Côte d'Ivoire.
The Yaoure are a subgroup of the Akan people present in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. Geographically close to the Baule and the Gouros, one feels the influence of these ethnic groups in the art of Yaoure through the attention to detail and aesthetics. The masks of African art Yaouré , or Yauré , of which the Baule have similar models, are divided into two groups that are difficult to differentiate, the je , sometimes with the addition of colored pigments, and the lo , generally with a ...


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

This African mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This society is open to men and women. The center of the mask is coated with kaolin and is cut into a heart. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality. Abraded two-tone patina. Residues of kaolin. Height on base : 34 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. Also known as Warega, they live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, kindi, ...


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100.00

Mbala Pindi maternity figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbala figure

Ex-collection French African art.
A tribal sculpture of a woman, a child on the hip, it stands out by a careful representation of the details and has a beautiful oiled patina to the satin touch, lighter in the protrusions. This type of object was a sacred symbol of authority. The hairstyle depicted offers great similarities with the mukote cap which, among the western pends with which the Mbala shared the rituals of mukanda circumcision , became a symbol of the struggle against colonization in the early 20th century ( "Congo Masks", ed. M.L. Félix, p.114)
A large drying crack appeared. wood erosion. This motherhood, accompanied by a musician figure, Limba, was part of the pair of emblematic Pindi sculptures attributed to Chief Mbala during his induction. After a retreat of a ...


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160.00

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

This African mask Songye would embody a positive force. The half-closed palpebral slits are stretched toward the temples, with the nose and mouth projecting rectangularly. The nasofrontal crest, the eyes and the chin band are raised in black. Grooves are etched in alternating diamonds on the matte surface. Abrasions.
Three variants of this Kifwebe mask( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death"(Roberts),of the society of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border area between the Northern Luba and the Songye of the Southeast. They are worn by a Kifwebe dancer in a ...


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120.00

Lega Bwami / Zimba initation figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure

Among the many others used throughout the initiations, this African sculpture featuring a zigzag bust topped with a head was intended for an initiate of the Bwami.

Oiled brown patina. Abrasions and chips.
The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to undergo costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu ,at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took place over seven days and ...

Murano pearl necklace
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African art > Jewelry, ornament > African necklace

Necklace made of ancient pearls that were once used as currency. The beads of this type (Millefiori), made of glass paste, would come from Venice (Murano) in particular, but also from other European countries such as Czechoslovakia. As early as the 14th century, they were exchanged in the African continent for various goods: gold, ivory, etc... Jewelry, such as necklaces, could also be part of the dowry.


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Fetish statue Nkishi of Songye
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

Extravagant feet protrude from the circular promontory on which this fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi), carved in angular volumes, is established. The hands highlight a protruding abdomen, witness to the lineage. A ritual magic charge of organic or vegetable ingredients was usually introduced into the horn at the top. Checkerboard scarifications bear witness to the influence of neighbouring luba. Brown patina nuanced with grey. Kaolin residue.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large specimens 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 ...


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350.00

Fetish statue Nkisi Songye
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

The sculpture with a face evoking the masks kifwebe related to the society Bwadi ka bifwebe has ritual accessories in the form of metal elements, a horn and a bead of skin usually containing a magical charge. A fur loincloth marks the waist. Eroded wood, lacks.
The fetish Songye, magic sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large size specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ...


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Luba Pipe
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African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Luba Pipe

Ex-collection Traditional African art from Belgium.
Seated on the spherical stove of a water pipe, an image of the womb, this African statue of a female Luba, a spirit medium, has an ovoid head with a shaved forehead outlined by a headband. Her hairstyle is that of Luba women in the early 20th century. Her attitude, with her hands positioned close to her chest, reminds us that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women thanks to their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. Dark patina, slightly satin. The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus the name (Baluba, which means "the Lubas"). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership ...


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Lwena Chokwe Pipe
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Chokwe


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 sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied and quality pieces that the Lunda court employed only them. Aimed in most cases at satisfying the thirst for prestige of their holders, however, ...


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100.00

Chokwe Mwana Pwo mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask

A wickerwork helmet, with textile braids on top of it representing a dense head of hair, adorns this African mask of the Chokwe. The hairstyle is reminiscent of that of the Chokwe women, which is coated with red clay.
A wide chiseled band delimits the forehead. The finely sculpted features are accompanied by decorative motifs reminiscent of the group's traditional scarifications. The distinctive patterns present on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons, like the pointed teeth, but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. The recurring cruciform frontal motif is furthermore thought to carry a cosmogonic significance. Always worn by higher-ranking initiates, these female masks were often adorned with buttons and ...


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160.00

Chokwe Mwana Pwo mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask

Always worn by initiates of higher rank, these masks embodying a female ancestor were often adorned with buttons and accessories of European origin. A wide braided hairstyle adorns the face with large eyeballs. Satin chocolate patina.
Height on base: 34 cm. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. The 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 female Pwo and appear today during festive ceremonies. Joined with their male counterparts, chihongo recognizable by their large, tray-shaped headdress, the pwo ...


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Tabwa figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tabwa statue

African statuette tabwa recognizable by its linear scarifications composed of small checkerboards. The position is frontal, the graceful arms parallel to the bust, hands placed on the abdomen. Lustrous orange-brown patina. Abrasions, slight cracks.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") are an ethnic group found in southeastern DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Tribes in this region, such as the Tumbwe , worship ancestors mipasi through carvings held by chiefs or sorcerers. Simple cultivators with no centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also masks. The Tabwa practiced ancestor worship and dedicated some of ...


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280.00

Tikar bronze fetish
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Tikar bronze

French African art collection.
Small, almost supernatural figure offering a spherical head, globular abdomen and graceful limbs. It probably illustrates the Fon , chief of the clan . The figure is topped with a bird. Misses and cracks under the buttocks.
The Tikar inhabit the western part of central Cameroon, which is located within the dense secondary forest of medium altitude, bordering the Mbam. Within this ecotone, the "Tikar plain" (which takes its name from its occupants) constitutes a depression that backs onto the west and north respectively of the Mbam massif (and its Mapé and Kim tributaries) and the first foothills of the Adamaoua plateau. The structure of the kingdom consists of a large chiefdom subdivided into quarters: the residences of the queens, the ...


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150.00





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