African art - African statues : tribal fetish, maternity:Often the work of blacksmiths who work on soft woods, African statuary includes statues of ancestors, dolls, statuettes of twins. All these statues offer geometric forms with angular contours, elongated features, sometimes with a severe expression. The arms can be glued to the body, or on the contrary, they can move away from it. We find seated or standing figures, arms and knees bent or as with the Dogon Tellem, arms raised towards the sky imploring for the coming of rain.
The statues can also be used as fetishes for all sorts of animist practices, mainly in the Congo.
Some are made of bronze as in the Benin kingdom.
For the traditional African, their function is to make invisible realities visible.
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Figures
Symbol of animal qualities, this statuette, forming the generic figure of a quadruped (mugugundu) from the Lega environment, belonged to a high-ranking Bwami. Kaolin patina. Eclats.br /-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 self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the chief, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranked. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. The Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, governed social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi . Bwami has varying ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Figurines
Animal figure with a human face, used during the itinerant rites of the Bwami Lega. Light brown satin patina, residual kaolin incrustations. Copy similar to page 115 of "Art of the Lega" by E.L.Cameron.
The African art of Lega , Balega , or Warega , is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket intended for the highest ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette, Iginga ( Maginga plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiatory stages, the highest being Kindi.
Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Metoko
The Metoko in African tribal art.
This small statuette with collected volumes is camped on large digitized feet, the hips surrounded by a raffia bond evoking a loincloth. A nasal ridge joining the top of the forehead, eye lozenges, a small mouth drawn in the wood. Numerous scarifications, written in alternating parallel lines, reveal the character's status, which would play a worthy old man who has been a victim of witchcraft, kakungu. In the hollow of these furrows kaolin pigments have become embedded, giving a light beige patina to the object.
Katungu cult statue belonging to the Metoko and Lengola, peoples of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, rare monotheism in Africa. Their company, Bukota, welcoming both men and women, is the equivalent of the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Luba
This feminine figure of African art, with a slender and serene look, has a thin and symmetrical face, it is a Luba statue. The eyes in coffee beans its half closed. The finely chiseled headdress is pulled back and classically divided into four parts.
The flexed arms cause the hands to rest on the prominent abdomen.
The Luba ( Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the Lubas). They were born from a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the leadership of Ilunga Kalala who killed the old king Kongolo, who has since been revered as a python. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in a decentralized chiefdom, which ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Luluwa Maternity
Relief motifs, erogenous and symbolic scarifications, embellish this African maternity. This female figure embracing a child has a greyish brown patina. These statuettes were supposed to protect the child and its mother. There are cracks and slight missing parts.
The different types of Luluwa, Lulua, or Béna Lulua statues, with multiple scarifications, glorify local chiefs, maternity, fertility and the female figure. This sculptural art was subject to the influences of neighboring ethnic groups (Chokwe, Luba, Kuba, etc.).
The Lulua, or Bena Lulua, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo from West Africa. Their social structure, based on castes, is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but mainly statues of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, ...
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Crucifix Kongo
Among the Kongo at the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the crucifix was a symbol of authority among the regalia chieffaux. A ceremony at the chief's inauguration required the future leader to recove at the hands of a dignitary, during a codified ritual, a nkangi kiditu. This badge of power, inspired by ancient Christian crucifixes imported by the Portuguese in the 16th century, could also have a therapeutic function, and, in addition to various uses, be brandished during funeral ceremonies during which the object was subjected to libations of oil or palm wine. The cross would not be a specific motif to the Christian world, the Kongo considering that the four branches refer to the cycle of human existence. The Kongo also used an initiation ceremony, the kimpasi , in which the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Luluwa
The different types of statues Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua, with multiple scarifications, glorify local leaders, motherhood, fertility and the female figure. Figures such as the one presented belong to the cult Buanga bua cibola, and are supposed to protect children and pregnant women. By the position of the hands indeed, this character highlights a prominent abdomen, center of the body and object of all solicitudes. ( The Power of the Sacred, M. Faïk-Nzuji) Scarifications protruding ornetn its forehead. Browned patina rather dull.
The Lulua, or Béna Lulua from West Africa, settled in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their caste-based social structure is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but especially statues of ancestors representing the ideal ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Ngbandi
Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
Among the many sculpted objects relating to hasse and magic, this stylized protective female statuette could represent the spirit Ngbirondo acting as guardian of the village. Funeral statues were also used, and couple sculptures yangba and sister, equivalent to the Seto and Nabo ancestors of Ngbaka. The pointed chin and the scarfication on the ridge of the nose is characteristic of the ethnicity. Thick, dark patina, lumpy and cracked.
The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people from the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngbandi live to the east (on the left bank of the Oubangui) and the Ngombe to the south. The initiation of young people, 'gaza' or 'ganza' (which gives strength) in the Ngbaka and Ngbandi, has many similarities, ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Luba headrest
The Luba are famous in particular for their neck rests and stools made of a caryatid figure. The neck rests protecting the headdresses during the night were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place.
A female figure crouching with legs widely apart (Zula style), supporting the curved support, forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). The effigy embodies the spirit of an ancestor, vidiye and is topped with braids pulled backwards.
Locally abraded oiled patina, orange reflections, residual ochre incrustations.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, hence the name (Baluba, which means ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ancestor Baoulé
The Akan cults in African art
This figure "Waka -Sona", ", wood being in baoulé", is patinated by oil anointings. Many scarifications run through the anatomy of the effigy. Both hands rest in the umbilical region. This gesture of life evokes the link with the progeny, the protection of the ancestor. Dense wood, satin surface. Two types of Waka-Sona statues are produced by the baoulé in the ritual framework: those that evoke an assiè oussou, being of the earth, and which are part of a set of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the Komian soothsayers, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate the revelations of the afterlife. The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, blolo bian or feminine, the bia blolo . Some 60 ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Hemba
Ex-collection of French African art.
Symbolizing a local chief, this Hemba effigy, whose characteristics were once attributed to the Luba, was carved to create a link with the guardian spirits. The Hemba clan leaders had several statues of ancestors whom they venerated and to which they dedicated offerings in order to establish their legitimacy. The position is classic, hands valuing a protruding abdomen, symbol of lineage. The sophisticated headdress is bounded by a tiara.
Black brown Patine. Satin surface. Split base.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa, established in the south-east of the R.D.C, on plains surrounded by streams. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, so the name (Baluba, which means the ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Colon
Male figure sculpted in a naïve style, in colon dress. Smooth patina slightly abraded.
The Vili, the Eri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo , led by King ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade. Similarly, beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary with a codified gesture in relation to their worldview. Present along the Gabonese coast, the Vili broke away from the Kongo Kingdom in the 16th century and the Loango kingdom became a powerful state. Now urbanized for the most part, however, they still incorporate traditional associations, dependent on the cult of ancestors such as the Mbouiti or the Bieri. The sorcerers nganga, both healers, were in charge of ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kikuyu doll
Most often erroneously attributed to the Namji, this carved figure, lacking arms and embellished with thousands of beads, comes from the Kikuyu or Agikuyu of southwestern Kenya, a population that intermingled around Mount Kenya with the original Gumbas or agumbas inhabitants. They believe in a creator god whom they name Ngai who is said to reside on Mount Kenya, and to whom they regularly offer prayers and offerings. Best known for their shields, the Kikuyu make extensive use in their carving and traditional costumes of glass beads and cowrie shells, as do many East African tribes.
Ritualistic practitioners, mundu mugo , are feared, and perform healing rites with divination gourds mwano loaded with therapeutic elements.
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figures
The Ibeji, substitute images in African art.
Traditionally carved from iroko, whose roots and leaves are also used for ritual purposes, these "ere" (statues) figures of twins take the form of a cube topped by a head. The pieces are linked by cowrie shell chains, constituting, in the same way as metal and pearls, the "abiku", protective ornaments.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin.
This ibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, it is the remaining twin who takes over.
Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy.
As a carrier of ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Statue
African lega art and ritual supports of initiation
African statue Sakimatwematwe (Multi-headed) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, this sculpture is part of the objects " Masengo " of the Bwami ("powerful things"), among the many others used throughout the initiations. It is presented in the form of a human figure, a strange little character with a stretched bust on which appear two faces directed towards opposite edges.
Matte golden brown patina. Slight lacks and erosions.
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Yoruba
This sculpture of African tribal art was destined to be enthroned on an altar. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the divinity of its duties towards men. The child she holds on her lap symbolizes protection and fertility. Wearing a high crest, she sports the keloids of the Yoruba nobles. The bulging eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of Yoruba tribal statuary.
Misses on the base. Scabby patina locally flaked. Desiccation cracks.
The Yoruba practiced the slave trade with the Europeans and in particular the Portuguese before being completely subjugated to the British following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in power.
The main Yoruba cults are the Gélédé , Epa , Ogboni , and the Esu cult, through which a very wide ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League figurines
The African art of Lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest rank of bwami from different communities. This type of statuette Iginga ( Maginga plural), was owned by the high ranks of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were inited. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their effectiveness. The figure Kakulu ka mpito devoid of ...
African art > Maternity, statues, bronze, wood > Statue Kulango
A female figure with delicate features, associated with fertility, she has a ringed neck and a bun hairstyle, a sign of her high rank. Seated on a royal Ashanti stool, she is nursing her child. Multiple strings of white beads encircle her hips. Glossy black patina.
br>Named Pakhalla by the Dioula, the Koulango formed the Loron in Voltaic territory. The Dagomba chiefs of the Bouna kingdom would later have referred to them as "Koulam" (singular: koulango , subject, vassal). Their complex history has given rise to a no less complex culture. It is between Burkina Faso and Comoé, in the north east of Côte d'Ivoire, that their territory extends.
With an animist fetish religion, they address their ancestors and the spirits of nature through sculptures in which the souls of ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Kusu
The figures of individual protection such as our copy, used by the Hemba and the Kusu, were inspired by songye fetishes. The magical charge, composed of ingredients of various origins, is in this case inserted in the cavity at the top of the head.
Satin patina, abrasions and cracks.
The Kusu established on the left bank of the Lualaba river borrowed the artistic traditions of the Luba and the Hemba and have a caste system similar to that of the Luba .
The Hemba have settled in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba River. Formerly under the domination of the Luba, these farmers and hunters practice the cult of ancestors by means of effigies long attributed to the Luba.
The statues singiti were preserved by the fumu mwalo and honoured in ceremonies during ...
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bronze Benin
Before the destruction of the palace of the Benin kingdom in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba, was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes were reproduced on narrative plaques, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chiefs, heavy bracelets, anklets and recades were produced in quantity in numerous workshops of founders according to the technique of the lost wax casting.
The leopard, representing the royal power, has a central place in the culture of the Benin kingdom because this animal appears in the founding myth of which King Ewuare is the hero. According to the legend, King Ewuare wakes up after spending a night next to a leopard and a snake without realizing it. As in other ...
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Lulua
The different types of statues Luluwa,Lulua, or even Bena Lulua, presenting multiple scarifications, glorify the local chiefs, maternity , fertility and the female figure. This prestigious figure is associated with the cult buanga bua bukalenge . The prominent, striated abdomen, center of the body and "object of all solicitudes" (The power of the sacred , M. Faïk-Nzuji )and the face, are strewn with lozenges, erogenous and symbolic protruding scarifications, circles and rectangles in checkerboards. A conical summit appendage representing a high braid rises to the level of the fontanel.
Gray grainy patina with localized erosions revealing a light wood.
It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua , or Béna Lulua ,from West Africa settled. Their social ...