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African art - Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale:

African everyday objects have become true works of art for Westerners. Used for ritual, ceremonial or purely everyday purposes on the African continent. They have never known the European artistic attraction, within the African population.


Kuba Basket
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kuba Basket

Circular box made of wickerwork, with a lid that fits together. The dense, elaborate weaving incorporates certain geometric patterns borrowed from scarification, also visible on shoowa raffia textiles. The inner edge of the lid is missing.

The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for the higher ranks of their society. The Lele live to the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of Kuba country. Both groups decorate their prestige objects with similar motifs.
The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed at its center a king or nyim inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
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Source: Kuba, ed. 5continents, Binkley and Darish.


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65.00

Comb Luba
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Comb Luba

Belgian African art collection.
The African tribal art proves to us once again that any everyday object can become an artistic medium. The decorative aspect of an object is indeed never its intrinsic function. In African art, any everyday object can be transformed into a masterpiece while retaining its usefulness. The major role held by women in the political life of the kingdom is illustrated by the recurrence of the female motif in Luba art. The latter, which stood out for its prestige and quality, therefore greatly influenced the neighboring groups. This comb is surmounted by a protective effigy embodying a political and spiritual intermediary, a role played by women in Luba royalty. Her headdress, behind a wide band revealing a shaved forehead, evokes one of those worn by Luba ...


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90.00

Fang spoon
African art > Spoons, ladles > Fang spoon

This African object illustrates the diversity of the decorative arts of the Fang: the sculpted motif is here like the statues of ancestors surmounting the reliquary baskets in the Byeri cult. Anthropomorphic spoon-emblems are recurrent in tribal art. Although ritual, the spoon is also an emblem of social status, depending on the complexity of its shapes and decorative motifs.
Height on base: 35 cm. Shiny patina, abrasions.
The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor. The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark ...


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150.00

Kuba cup
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kuba cup

Among the prestige objects of the Kuba groups, this cephalomorphic bowl decorated with geometric patterns has a handle. Satin patina.
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 motifs. 


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100.00

Vili Sceptre
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Vili Sceptre

The handle of the object is very finely carved with a female bust. The detail of the lines, the fingered hands, the curve of the volumes, form an unusual and decorative motif. remarkably refined.
Smooth black patina.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembe, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the Kôngo group, led by King Ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the trade in ivory, copper and the slave trade. With the same beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary endowed with a codified gesture in relation to their vision of the world. 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, they still ...


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Kwéré pin
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kwéré pin

Prestige pin with traditional doll motif.
Smooth light brown satin patina.
The Zaramo and the tribes around them designed dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In case the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child". Among the Zaramo, this carved motif is repeated on the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts.


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Luba neck rest
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African art > Head rest > Luba neck rest

Ex Belgian collection of African art. Some neck rests, like this one, have been waxed by their owner, others not.
The Luba are renowned for their statuary and in particular their neckrests and stools made up of a caryatid figure and sometimes an animal motif, the cephalophe as here. In this case it is a female figure, incarnation of royalty and the spirit of the ancestors, riding the animal. Antelope horns were used, loaded with magical ingredients, in therapeutic rites. Neck rests were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. Greyish brown matte patina. 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 ...


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Bamileke necklace
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African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bamileke necklace

The African art of the Bamoun, and the regalia associated with sovereignty.
This old necklace of Bamoun dignitary, or Bamoum, is trimmed with 12 buffalo heads arranged on a metal strap with a clasp. This iconography symbolizes the values of combativeness and tenacity. When they sit, the members of sultan Bamoun's court council wear this distinctive adornment of their function, the mbangba ,"mgba-mgba", which they say helps to strengthen their prestige and drive away any power Evil. Among the Bamoun, it is the fon, the head of the Kingdom or the chiefdom, who will offer this necklace to deserving men.
Total height on a base: 55 cm.

The Bamoun live in an area full of woodlands as well as savannahs. This large territory called Grassland in southwestern Cameroon is ...


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

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Abundance of decorative carvings in African Kuba art.
The anthropomorphic cup probably symbolizes the character of Bwoom in masked royal dances. It is formed of heads superimposed on legs. Different forms of cups were sculpted whose ornamentation sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Satin patina, abrasions and cracks of desiccation.
The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed at its center a king or nyim inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
This one was considered to be of divine origin. At the same time chief of the kingdom and of the Bushoong chieftaincy, he was attributed supernatural virtues stemming from sorcery or from the ancestors. He was therefore responsible for the survival of his subjects, whether it was ...


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Fang Box
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Fang Box



This container has a lid topped with three stylized faces reminiscent of the guardian heads of the byeri reliquary. Three fang figures with protective virtues, arms bent, hands clasped, adorn the walls of the box. Since the reliquary boxes contain the bones of the ancestors are most often made up of bark, this wooden sculpture could also have been used as a medicine container or a box dedicated to divination. The internal walls are lined with residues of yellow ochre vegetable oil.
Geometric patterns and parallel lines are engraved on the matte surface. Desication cracks. Indigenous restorations using metal staples.
The peoples known as Fang, or "Pahouins", described as conquering warriors, invaded in successive leaps, from villages to villages, the entire vast ...


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Kongo pestle
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kongo pestle

Old grain pestle whose center is carved with two faces. One of them is represented sticking out his tongue, a gesture with symbolic connotation in rituals against witchcraft. Smooth and glossy honey-coloured patina. Desication cracks.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembe, the Bwende, the Dondo/Kamba, the Yombé and the Kôngo constituted the Kôngo group, led by King Ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the trade in ivory, copper and the slave trade. From comparable beliefs and traditions, they produced statuary endowed with codified gestures in keeping with their vision of the world. Their realistic masks took part in initiation ceremonies and the funerals of notables, and their nailed fetish statues, nkondi, were charged with magical elements ...


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290.00

Kongo comb
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kongo comb

BelgianAfrican tribal art collection.
This African comb of prestige equipped with a handle with an anthropomorphic motif was used for shaping the braided hairstyles of its owner. This type of hair adornment was patiently developed around a structure, which must have required long hours. Figurative combs, using figures and motifs associated with the cosmos and clan myths, are indeed widespread throughout West and Central Africa, where the art of hairdressing takes on its full meaning. These ceremonial hairstyles or more simply those of everyday life highlight the head, the seat of intelligence, wisdom and meditation. Velvety patina of use. The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembe, the Bwende, the Dondo/Kamba, the Yombé and the Kôngo constituted the Kôngo group, led by King ...


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Luba headrest
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African art > Head rest > Luba headrest

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

The Shankadis belong to the luba group, and have the same associations and structures. Their mostly realistic statuary is characterized by spectacular hairstyles, a smooth surface, and smaller lower limbs. The "cascade" hairstyle illustrates one of the different braided compositions fashionable in Zaire in the 1800s, highlighting the social status of the wearer. The female effigy symbolizes the Luba royalty and the major role of women within it. Neck rests were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. Locally abraded dark brown oiled patina.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the ...


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Kuba Flycatcher
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African art > Fly swatter, staff of power, royal sceptre > Kuba Flycatcher

The Shoowa settled within the Kuba kingdom and gradually adopted some of its traditions. Organized in a matrilineal society, the Shoowa are above all skilled weavers, renowned for their raffia textiles which they export to neighboring groups. But they are also potters and engravers. The Kuba and the tribes between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers, including the Bushoong and Dengese, also from the Mongo group, are known for the refinement of prestige objects created for the higher ranks of their society. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong, who are still ruled by a king. It is the most prolific group in Western Kasai. Ritual ceremonies were still an opportunity to display decorative arts and masks to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king. Most of ...


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Luba comb
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Luba comb

The tribal art of Africa proves once again that any usual object can become an artistic support. The decorative aspect of an object is never its intrinsic function. In African art, any everyday object can be transformed into a masterpiece while keeping its usefulness. The major role played by women in the political life of the kingdom is illustrated by the recurrence of the female motif in Luba art. The latter, which stood out for its prestige and quality, had a great influence on neighboring groups. This comb is surmounted by a protective effigy embodying a political and spiritual intermediary, a role held by the woman in Luba royalty. Her headdress, behind a wide band revealing a shaven forehead, evokes one of those worn by Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. The secrets ...


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Spoon Fang
African art > Spoons, ladles > Spoon Fang

This object illustrates the diversity of the decorative arts of the Fang: the sculpted motif, a head, offers the features of the statuary surmounting the reliquary baskets. Anthropomorphic spoon-emblems are recurrent in tribal art. Although ritual, the spoon is also an emblem of social status, depending on the complexity of its shapes and decorative motifs.
Shiny oiled patina.


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150.00

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

This African sculpture was a tool for communication with the ancestors, used by the diviner during divination rituals. The Luba , like their neighbors, used this type of object related to divination kashekesheke named katatora and lubuko . According to François Neyt, the object was carved from a wood ( kibekwasa )with magical properties. During the interview, the ring was caught by the diviner and his client, who would slide it on a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked ( producing the sound "kashekesheke", "extraction of truth"). Generally considered feminine, the object is a symbol, for the Luba, of the spiritual power that a woman would have, although the carved motif here shows a face with feminine features doubled with a face of masculine character. Black satin ...


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Baoulé comb
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Baoulé comb

Some 60 ethnic groups populate Côte d'Ivoire, including the Baoulé in the centre, Akans from Ghana, a people of the savannah, hunting and farming, as well as the Gouro from whom they borrowed the cults and masks. The basic unit is lineage, under the responsibility of an elder, whose functions are political and religious.
In Côte d'Ivoire, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of sculptors. A refined accessory, the comb is an essential tool for shaping the sumptuous crépée and tattooed hairstyles of Baoulé men and women. Here he wears five teeth, and his sleeve is embellished with engraved motifs similar to those engraved on the masks of the ethnic group. Ref. In: ...


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Bambara Cane
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Bambara Cane

A ritual instrument used in the fourth iniatic section of the Koré des Bamana society, Bambara, this cane is named, like the horse mask, Kore Duga or the vautour du Kore.
The name of the mask refers to the satirical behaviour of the dancer-buffoon who rides the stick during his performance. It has various objects associated with the knowledge provided by the Koré, the last initiation society of the Bamana.
The handle sculpted in the shape of a horse's head was then plated with metal sheets. A decorative linear nailing attaches the ornaments to the wood. The hair also simulates a hair. The lower end is sheathed with leather and ends in a fibre top.
Dark brownpatine.


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280.00

Luba board
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Luba board

This tablet with curved edges is surmounted by a head supposed to embody an ancestor communicating with the guardian spirits, 'mvidye', intermediate between the spiritual world and individuals, which can also embody the spirits of nature among the Luba of Kasai. The drawings, colours and layout of the inlays of the plateau are linked to a mnemonic proverb or code associated with the myths, origins and precepts of Luba royalty. This multi-interpretation object allowed followers of the Mbudye to transmit during codified rituals, through stories and songs, the genealogy of the founding heroes, the history of clan migrations, certain codes of the kingdom, etc. H. on pedestal: 37 cm.
Nene brown velvety matte, slightly abraded areas. Height on pedestal: 36cm
Shest the Luba, the ...


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Oracle Luba
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Oracle Luba

African art collection put up for sale by Jan Putteneers.
This African cephalomorphic sculpture is a means of communication with ancestors, used by the soothsayer during divination rituals. Incorporating the category of objects nkisi, nkishi, it is supposed to be endowed with a secret power, receptacle of a spiritual energy. Luba , like their neighbors, use this type of object related to the divination kashekesheke named katatora and lubuko . According to François Neyt, the object was carved from wood ( kibekwasa ) with magical properties.
During the interview, the ring was caught by the soothsayer and his client, who dragged it on a mat or headrest in response to the questions asked (producing the sound "kashekeke", "extraction of the truth"). Considered feminine, the ...


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