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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.

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

Integrated into a mask depicting a human face, a curved, bifid beak extends this African mask of the Dan Yacouba from the banks of the Cavally River, between Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia. A garland of metal bells and fangs, attached to a raffia trim, highlights the face of this work of African tribal art. Grainy satin patina, erosions.
The Dan populations of the north known as Yacouba of Côte d'Ivoire and the Maou of Touba (Maouka), and those of the northeast of Liberia, after having borrowed them from the neighboring Mandé people, use them in the secret masculine ceremonies of which the Koma of the Maou Guerze of Liberia call it Nyomu . When they are not accompanying a small orchestra at entertainment parties, the mask-singers perform at night, during traditional rites, in order to ...


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120.00

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

African art and fetishes nkisi
This fetish statue Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi) does not seem to have passed into the hands of the fetishist, the umbilical, hollowed out in cup, not having a magic charge. Other elements strengthening its "power ", and associated with rituals, such as horn, necklaces, insertion or metal veneer, being also absent. The particularity of these objects most often resides in the angular treatment of the form, the imposing triangular face whose chin blends into the beard, the mouth cracks raised in rictus, and the attitude deported to the front of the bulging belly. Dark brown patina with blackish residual inlays, satin touch. Desication cracks.

These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator ...


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190.00

Songye fetish
promo art africain
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye fetish

Statuette Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) at the top of which a horn has been inserted by the point. The power of the fetish, according to the beliefs of the Songye, would be reinforced by the presence of its accessories, metal and, or, various additions of materials, vegetable fibers, animal skins, dried fruits, etc... Beautiful abraded light brown patina.< br /> These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a 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 ...


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150.00  130.00

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

From a spherical mask, dug with holes for the eyes, stands a stylized effigy of a mythical bird frequently identified as the calao, or Setien , one of the five animals of the Senoufo cosmogony. Its long, tapered beak, interpreted as the figuration of the male sexual organ" that perpetuates the life of the community, elegantly returns to touch the bulging chest symbolizing motherhood. The paws hug the dome of the mask.
Desication cracks restored in situ using metal staples, an old matte, velvety dark patina, locally abraded on a light wood.
The Senoufo , a name given to them by French settlers, are mostly composed of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. ...


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Ashanti doll
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African art > African Dolls > Ashanti doll

Used among the Ashanti and the Fantis of Ghana, the Akuaba (plural Akua'mma) doll statuettes are amulets used by Ashanti women to promote fertility. Most of the time with a stylized appearance, this specimen has a flat and circular head surmounting a more naturalistic morphology. A mark of beauty, the often ringed neck also symbolizes prosperity.
Carried on the backs of women, these statues are also accompanied by various rites, such as the ingestion of a potion, or the placing of the object on the family altar. After the birth of the child, the sculpture is used as a toy, and sometimes still offered to the healer in order to witness its effectiveness. Locally abraded glossy black patina.


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

Figurative anthropomorphic sculpture, carved in very dense wood. Represented in a posture linked to the dance, the character offers a severe physiognomy, which a hairstyle meticulously made of glass beads softens.
Brown satin patina, cracks.
The Nyamwezi, Nyamézi, form the largest group among the tribes living in north central Tanzania. Coming from diverse origins, although sharing the same cultural specificities, their ritual and artistic production consequently presents very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, marked their statuary.
The Sukuma and the Nyamézi produced statues represented in a static position, some of which, with filiform limbs, evoke the artistic creations of Alberto Giacometti. They ...


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390.00

Kaguru stool
African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Kaguru stool

Old circular seat, with a slightly concave center, carried by three feet. The decoration consists of opposing geometric patterns, finely engraved on the uprights.
Contours and feet eroded.
Gray brown age patina.
In the southern coastal region of Tanzania, around Dar-es-Salaam, a relatively homogeneous group produced most of the artistic productions. It includes the Swahili, Kaguru, Doé, Kwéré, Luguru, Zaramo, Kami. Among these populations, the seats are thrones intended for the heads of lineage, each of them being under the protection of a tutelary spirit. These stools were set apart in shrines named kolelo, guarded by priests.


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280.00

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

The headdress of this mask is composed of a basketry hat, extended by a fishnet, and raffia knots representing tight curls. It evokes the traditional hairstyle of the Chokwe women who coated it with red clay. The features of the face are finely chiseled, enhanced by traditional scarified motifs. Smooth red ochre patina. 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. Nevertheless, the Chokwe never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did not have ...


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Benin Plate
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Benin Plate

Ex-collection French African art.
Before the destruction of the palace of the Kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of kings, the Oba , was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. In African tribal art, glorifying war scenes were reproduced on narrative plates, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, hairs and recades were produced in quantity in many workshops of smelters according to the technique of cast iron with lost wax. During the 16th century, oba Esigie commissioned the first copper alloy plates with embossed ornamentation. Many of them were cast in pairs to symmetrically decorate the pillars or walls of the palace. Olfert Dapper describes these plaques ...


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1995.00

Kplé-kplé Mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kplé-kplé Mask

This circular African mask, says Junior, has hollowed-out eyes topped with protruding pupils, it has a rectangular mouth in which a dentition is chiseled, in reference to the traditional image of teeth in young people. The female kplekple mask, according to some authors (African Barbier-Mueller Masks, p.116) is said to be red. Vogel (Baule) indicates, however, 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. Usually preceding 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, kplekple yassoua or yaswa , as opposed to the kplekple bla feminine. He appears briefly during the ...


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

Ex-collection French African art.
This Waka-Sona African Statue, being of wood in baoulé, evokes a assed oussou, being from the earth. It is part of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the soothsayers komian, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu 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 blolo bia . The entire body and face are decorated with rectangular checkerboard patterns in reference to tribal scarifications, and parallel lines in relief depicting bracelets. The character holds a beard that was stiffened by shea oil anointings. These statues were kept on the altar olyo where sacrifices were made to the spirits. Irregular and grainy ...


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Kusu statue
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kusu statue

Individual protection figures such as our example, used by the Hemba and Kusu, were inspired by Songye fetishes. The magic charge was inserted into the cavity at the top of the head.
Satin patina, abrasions and cracks. The Kusu settled on the left bank of the Lualaba borrowed artistic traditions from the Luba and Hemba and have a caste system similar to that of the Luba. 
The Hemba on the other hand have settled in southeastern Zaire on the right bank of the Lualaba River. Once under the domination of the Luba, these farmers and hunters practice ancestor worship by means of effigies long attributed to the Luba. The statues singiti were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored in ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the ...


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Benin rider
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Benin rider

Benin African art is described as court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as Oba. The tradition of bronze court objects from the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The many brass heads and statues created by the artists of Benin were reserved for the exclusive use of the inhabitants of the royal palace and, more often than not, placed on altars consecrated by each new Oba. These rectangular altars were surmounted by heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and staves. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. The craftsmen of Benin also produced figures of riders on horseback, representing according to the interpretations, either a Benin king, or a Yoruba emissary of the cavalry of Oyo. It could also be Oranmiyan, who ...


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650.00

Figure of rider Bembé, Beembé
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African art > Bronze rider, wooden rider, dogon, yoruba > Cavalier Bembé

br-Figure of rider on his mount. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond eyes are encrusted with bone. Lack on the base. Glossy, brown and black patina. Extra black wood base on request.
Oneblis on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex. Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembé group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the Téke rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo.Installed in the present-day Republic of Congo, the Beembe originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, along with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and B. They were under the tutelage of the king ntotela elected by the governors. The ivory, copper and slave trade were the main resources of this little-known group until colonization. The ...

Cavalier Yoruba Sango
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Yoruba

Representations of horsemen are very common in The African Yoruba Art, and for good reason, it is the central theme of history called "The Death and The Cavalier of The King".
This fiction tells the funeral of the late King of Oyo, a former African state founded in the 15th century, neighbor of the kingdom of Dahomey, and the tradition that his rider, Elesin, must commit suicide within thirty days of the death of the king in order to follow Yoruba religious dogma. The death of the rider is indeed intended to guarantee the king a safe drive to his new home.
Elesin, a simple man enjoying life, is given a mission he does not want and ends up disappointing the Yoruba people who place high expectations in him.

It was this myth that inspired the sculptor to make this ...


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

This African senoufo mask with a round head, exorbitant pupils, wide toothed jaw and zoomorphic ears, is named "c redeemer of fire" (Korobla). It is sometimes accessorized with magical attributes. Patine mate. Residual libations. Very good state of preservation.
The Senoufo, the name given to them by french settlers, are mainly made up of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. The councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the senoufo villages.
Representations of hybrid beings, the zoomorphic African masks of Sénufo are worn by members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life. Their function is to honour the elders or to appear at funerals, hence their name, poniugo , " funeral head". ...


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230.00

Bura funerary urn
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African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Bura funerary urn

Remarkable, African Bura art includes three types of archaeological sites in the Niger Valley: sites with necropolises where coffin jars, funerary urns, etc ... Sites with ritual vocations where ceremonies were happening and the religious rites. The habitation sites where we find the usual objects. Herisse in his height of vertical lines composed of small circular reliefs, this conical receptacle was placed in the tomb of the deceased among personal effects like his weapons and clothing that he might need in the afterlife, among his bones and teeth. The piece has the same patterns placed horizontally around the perimeter of its lower base.


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Tambour Zande
African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Tambour Zande

A zande percussion musical, this wooden idiophone is carved from a human bust. It extends in the shape of a dugout at the feet of which a character is depicted sitting, hands on ears. A long slit acts as a resonance opening. The walls are engraved with different decorative motifs. Satin patina.
odies referred to as " Niam-Niam " because they are considered anthropophages, the tribes grouped under the name Zande , Azandé , settled, from Chad, on the border of R.D.C.(Zaire), Sudan and the Central African Republic. According to their beliefs, man is endowed with two souls, one of whom turns into a totem animal of the clan to which he belongs. The African tribal art of the Zande, or "these who own a lot of land", apart from their court art consisting of spoons, receptable, pipes and ...


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160.00

Mangbetu Drum
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African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Mangbetu Drum

Percussion musical instrument of the 'a target'_blank' 'new'nofollow' href'https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Mangbetu_ (people)'' Mangbetu, , this half-moon-shaped wooden idiophone has been fitted with a long slot that acts as a resonant opening. It is endowed with an anthropomorphic handle that includes the features of the ancestor figures nebeli .
The Mangebetu Kingdom in northern Congo produced architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, adornments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described its symmetry and refinement, while at the same time testifying to the ritual killings and human sacrifices practiced by the people of elongated heads. The slot drum is not ...


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Calao Senoufo
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Calao Senoufo

A large sculpture, with pure shapes, represents the mythical bird that is one of the five animals of the Senoufo cosmogony, and more precisely the calao. Evoked for morphological and behavioural criteria, it decorates, in its miniature version, many objects of African senoufo art. Its widely deployed wings reveal powerful lower limbs resting on a fragmented base. Its long beak, "interpreted as the figuration of the male sexual organ" perpetuating the life of the community, returns to land on the abdomen of the animal.
Linked to the Poro society that introduced young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles lasting seven years, this sculpture of the Setien was deposited in the sacred enclosure.
A native repair is visible on one of the wings and a sign, or ...


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

This African mask Lega indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different grades, open to men and women, which organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems.
Height on base: 31 cm
Numerous erosions, matte patina.
Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. Social recognition and authority also had to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks ...


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240.00





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