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African art - African mask, tribal art, primitive art:

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.


Bira, Hunde mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bira mask

The polychrome patterns, originally applied with the finger by the ritualist named ishumi , remain almost imperceptible on the surface of our bira mask.
Indeed, although masks decorated with dotted lines often originated in northern D.R.C., clans in the Utuiri region also made use of similar masks featuring the traditional designs applied to bodies and faces during ritual ceremonies.
Height on base: 44cm.
The Bira or Hunde and the Komo of Congo belong to the same ethnic entity and their last migration dates back to the 18th century. Their region of origin would be the Ubangi, even Chad, and even according to some, the Nile basin (Siffer).they speak an archaic Bantu language. They speak an archaic Bantu language. Settled in Ituri, there are the Bira who have ...


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380.00  304.00

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

Consisting of different planes of contrasting colors and provided with large ears, this African mask kpongadomba or " Pongdudu " was supposed to make invulnerable. Its appearance wanted to terrify the enemy. This mask of African art kpongadomba of Boa was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior . It was then kept in the hut of his wife. The oversized ears are perforated like the earlobes of the eastern Boa once were. The "bavobongo" has a mouth lined with teeth figured by sticks, and conferred an impressive appearance on its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors. Velvety patina. Close to the Mangbetu and the Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa would have used these masks for ...


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

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
African Tabwa mask symbolizing power. Polychrome matte patina.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") constitute an ethnic group present in the South-East of the DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. The tribes of this region, such as the Tumbwe, worship their ancestors mipasi thanks to sculptures held by chiefs or sorcerers. A magical charge ( dawa ) was introduced at the top of the head of the statues. Healing soothsayers used this type of objects to unveil witchcraft and protect against malevolent spirits. Simple farmers without centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after having undergone the influence of the Luba whose beliefs they integrated. It is mainly during this period that their artistic current ...


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 Dan Gunye ge mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan mask

This African mask from the Ivory Coast distinguished by its metal-rimmed eyes, known as a "race mask" (pointed face, round hollowed-out eyes, diamond-shaped mouth) was held against the face with cotton strips attached to the contour perforations and tied behind the head.
The wearer was chased by an unmasked runner; if he was caught, he had to pass the mask to the winner, who in turn was chased by another runner. The purpose of these races was once to train men to run and fight. This type of event is now very often linked to the festivals announcing the beginning of the dry season and those linked to the initiation of young children.
A mask used for entertainment by the Dan farmers of northwestern Côte d'Ivoire, known as Yacouba, it is also sometimes used as ...


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

The sobriety of the African masks of the Lega. This African mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. It is open to both men and women. The center bears residues of kaolin. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality. Abraded two-tone patina. Height on base : 38 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, is held by ...


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380.00  304.00

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

A face with large concave orbits, a nose and a mouth reduced, form this African mask surmounted by a growth evoking horns. To the perforations of the contours came to fix the ornament of raffia or papyrus today absent.
This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga)was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for the public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. Evocation of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during festivals associated with the hunt and ancestor cults that it was displayed. They also appeared during the Bwami circumcision ceremonies.
Two-tone light patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that is said to have left ...


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115.00

Kumu, Komo mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kumu mask

African mask whose pastillage, which could be related to the panther, bears the imprint of the pygmy influence.
A ridge divides the forehead and extends over the nose, while the oblique eyes are atypical. The pouting mouth reveals a row of spaced teeth. Matt patina, old polychromy. Erosions.
According to M.L. Félix, the African masks produced by the clans living in the north of the Ituri region mostly adopt stylized features sculpted on a shallow base, and their decoration evokes the animal world, accompanied by color pigments similar to those that adorn the bodies during initiation rites. Similar masks, decorated with dotted lines, were however worn in Ubangi by the Ndunga and Zande of the northeast, where initiates and elders wore this type of body paint on certain ...


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290.00  232.00

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

The African masks dan zapkei ge are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. This sober example is embellished with a braided hairstyle, whose two braids frame the face. The thin face has protruding lips. Smooth, velvety patina, coated with clay.
For the Dan, or Yacouba, living in the west of the Ivory Coast and in Liberia, the "dü" force that animates the world manifests itself in the sculpted masks. It is in this way that it seeks to bring knowledge to man in order to give him support, and uses the channel of dreams beforehand. The spirits then indicate how to name the mask they wish to ...


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280.00  224.00

Yaure Lomane, Anoman mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yohoure masker

Ex-French African art collection.
A subgroup of the Akan people found in Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana, the Yaoure produced sculptural art influenced by the neighboring Baule and Gouro ethnic groups. This African mask belonging to the I society is topped with a bird figure. Carefully carved tripartite hair highlights the thin face, and a collar of triangular patterns encircles the mask. Fine "ngole" scarification marks the temples. Brown shaded patina.
This example, which could be attributed to the Anoman group, Lomane , (bird) is part of the fourth of the seven I masks that originally danced around the deceased and bent over until it touched him for purifying purposes. It also appears currently during celebrations. The African art masks Yaouré , or Yauré , of which the ...


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290.00  232.00

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

This African mask of initiation, Mbuya, emanates from the Pende of the West whose Yaka influence is notable in the slightly upturned nose facture. The wide lowered eyelids indicate the Pende tradition of not staring in public.
This African Pendé mask has a headdress made of cloth and raffia fibers.
Total height on base: 42 cm.
The western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the eastern ones have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba, and Salampasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks, realistic, produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters, including ...


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320.00  256.00

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

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached in the Bwami, an apprenticeship society made up of different grades, and which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu . Lustrous black-brown patina, residues encrusted with kaolin. Desiccation cracks. Height on base: 37 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 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in autonomous villages surrounded by palisades, usually on ...


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150.00  120.00

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

This African mask Lega indicated the stage its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks,and joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. A flat mask not intended to be worn, it was hung on a stockade among other masks, or attached to the arm.

Two-tone patina, residues encrusted with kaolin. Erosions.
Height on base : 32 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 ...


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130.00

Gunye gei mask - Dan
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Dan Mask

This ivory coast tribal mask is a racing mask (sharp face, hollowed out round eyes, mouth, it was held against the face using cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and knotted behind the head. An impasto mixed with nestling down, resulting from ritual anointings, concentrates at the top. One eye no longer has its metal strap. Satin-black brown patina.
The tradition was for its wearer to be pursued by an unmasked runner; if he was caught, he had to pass the mask to the winner, who in turn was being chased by another runner. These races were once intended to train men in running and fighting. This type of event is now very often linked to the holidays announcing the beginning of the dry season and those related to the initiation of young children. Smooth, sained ...


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115.00

Goli s Kplé Kplé Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kplé Kplé Mask

This circular African mask, says Junior, has a crenellated border, with hollowed-out eyes topped with protruding conical pupils, it has a rectangular mouth in which was chiseled a teeth, in reference to the traditional image of teeth among young people. Reduced animal ears are shown on the rounded horns. The female kplekple mask, according to some authors (African Barbier-Mueller Masks, p.116) is said to be red. Vogel Baule) however indicates that in the Baoulé version of the Goli the male mask is painted red, and the feminine in black. It is likely that this allocation varies from village to village. Metal inlays.
Dedicating the manifestation of a series of family masks Goli, this circular mask with rounded horns evoking the antelope, is considered in some cases as a male mask, ...


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180.00

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

This African Dogon "monkey" mask was collected in the 1950s by Monsieur Arnaud, accompanying Alain Bilot, Alain Bilot,
renowned collector of Dogon art during study stays in Mali.
Sheltering large orbital cavities, this heavy mask of angular structure forms the stylized evocation of a monkey. The matte, golden surface has also been rubbed with red ochre, whose crustal residues remain locally encrusted. Speckled powdery patina. Very slight lacks.
More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, of which the best known are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of ...


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

High concave orbits where a cross is drawn symbolizing the cardinal points make up this African mask this African mask topped with horns. The raffia or papyrus ornament, now missing, was attached to the perforations in the contours.
This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga) was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt.
Evocation of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during the festivals associated with the hunt and ancestor cults that it was displayed. They also appeared during Bwami circumcision ceremonies. Dark satin patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba offshoot that is said to ...


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210.00  168.00

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

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
This African initiation mask, Mbuya, comes from the Western Pende, whose Yaka influence is noticeable by the slightly rolled up nose. Endowed with wide drooping eyelids, it reminds us of the Pende's custom of not staring at the eyes in public. This African Pende mask wears a headdress made of canvas and raffia fribres, and a goatee. Total height on adapted base: 39 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Easterners settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu have been imprinted on their large sculpture of tribal art. Within this diversity, the realistic Mbuya masks, produced every ten years, have a ...


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

This flat African mask is of yela inspiration, from the characteristic striations and pout. Yela masks were used by the secret initiation society ekanga.

Height on base: 64 cm. The province of Lualaba had several closely related ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole and the Yela are known for their statues embodying, according to D. Biebuck, hanged men. Biebuck ,of the hanged, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing to hanging those guilty of infractions of the imposed rules. These offenses ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy encircling the lilwa . Dishonored, the bodies of condemned persons were not given any burial and were buried in the forest. It was ...


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280.00  224.00

Ndaka Mask, Ndaaka de l Uituri
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Ndaka Mask

Thick, slightly convex in shape and quite frustrated except for the detail of a regular metal dentition, this rare mask comes from the forested regions of Ituri in the north of Umaniema. A number of small groups of farmers in the clearings live in contact with the Mbuti pygmies of the forest, these are the Bali, Ndaka, Mbo, Lombi, etc. Most often flat and pigmented with white in reference to the animal world, these masks associated with their raffia costumes perform during ceremonies nkundi seed to initiations and circumcisions of young people. The sculptor's tool marks the surface of this monochrome mask carved into the bark. The arcades have an asymmetry.
Nested Dark Eye.
Hightop on a base: 32 cm.
Ref.: Congo masks Ed. M.L. Felix


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Masque facial Kwele, Bakwele
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bakwele Mask

A longitudinal ridge shares this board, oval mask with three pairs of crescent arched eyes, the central pair of which is incised for vision. It forms a stylized, abstract variant of the mask at "trompe". The dark patina is chipped, shards of wood are to be noted. These gabonese masks with a concave face, in the heart, have almond eyes and a triangular nose. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks referring to the antelope are called pipibudze, Ekuku zokou, etc. and are associated with ancestors or forest spirits. Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live on hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult called Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by ...

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

African initiation mask, Mbuya embellished with a basketry and raffia cloth headdress. The patina results from a mixture of ochre bark and palm oil.
Height on base: 54 cm. The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu have been imprinted on their extensive 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 diviner and his wife, the prostitute,the jester, tundu , the possessed, etc.... The Mbuya ...


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