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African art - Bembe:

The Bembe are a Kongo ethnic group living in the south of the DRC, in the department of Bouenza. There are about 80,000 of them living in this region. Some groups are also present in northern Angola and northwestern DRC. The Bembe carve small statuettes representing ancestors, fetishes with abdominal scarification.


Bembe Biteki figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bembe figure

Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembe group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small group Babembé, Béembé, was influenced by the Téké rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongos. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of King ntotela elected by the governors. The trade in ivory, copper and slaves were the main resources of this little-known group until colonization. The head of the village, nga-bula, was responsible for interceding with the ancestors. Hunting being a major activity, the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors,kitebi ...


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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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Figurine Biteki Bembe
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bembe statuette

Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville,and not to be confused with the Bembe group from the north of Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembe group,Béembé, was influenced by Teke rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo.Settled in the present Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, along with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of the king ntotela elected by the governors. The ivory trade, copper and slaves were the main resources of this little-known group until colonization.The village leader, nga-bula, was responsible for interceding with the ancestors. Hunting was a major activity and the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These idealized representations of ancestors, ...


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

The mask opposite could be Bembe, despite the facial striations typical of the Teke, Buma (Mboma) or Yanzi. The large concave eyeballs are indeed one of the specificities of the Bembe. Nevertheless, this is an interesting piece with a beautiful patina of use, satin, slightly abraded. Place of harvest unknown.
br /> The Bembe ethnic group is a branch of the Luba who left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of neighboring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring society, but although the Bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other associations coexisted among ...


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Bembe Kalunga fetish stool
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African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Bembe Stool

Preserved in the box of the karunga society, or Alunga, this fetish in the form of a seat is made up of kalunga faces. The society not only exercised social control within the Bembe clan, but also organized public dances and pre-hunting ceremonies. The large eye sockets of the faces are reminiscent of circumcision masks that symbolize a forest spirit. Patina lustrous by use. Desication cracks, erosions.
The Bembe is a Luba branch line that is believed to have left Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by their neighbours in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for initiation and structuring for society but while the bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other ...


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Buste janiforme Bembe/Boyo Kalunga
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Kalunga Envelopes

Two large concave orbits house cabochon pupils surmounting a hollowed-out diamond in the mouth. The whole thing is worn by a neck widening at the base. The owl scares, to which the bembé masks also refer, would have inspired this type of sculpture made in various formats and depicting the kalunga spirit. These sculptures held by each lodge master played a role in the rituals of passage during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami, but also probably in fertility rites.
Clear Patine with kaolin and ochre clay residues. Cracks.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch line that is believed to have left Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendency are influenced by neighbouring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region: ...

Bembe Nkaku initiation mask ya butende
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe mask

Ex-collection of Belgian traditional African art.
This African mask nkaku ya butende was used during the initiation and circumcision rites of the Bwami society, inspired by that of the neighbouring lega. Zoomorphic mask with large concave orbits, it forms the evocation of a forest spirit, and was kept in sacred caves. Abraded granular patina. The ethnic group Bembe is a luba branch that would have left Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc.. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe.

Bembé Echawokaba hem mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembé Mask

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga , Alunga , exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and ceremonies before the hunt. A hem mask embodying the god Alunga, it has four high and wide concave orbits with a conical pupil in relief. Growths, on which were attached feathers, evoke small ears or horns. Its circular base is also equipped with perforations in order to be able to fix the raffia adornment to conceal its wearer. A vocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was preserved in the sacred caves and it was during the feasts associated with hunting and the cults of ancestors that it was exhibited. Flat masks with the same concave orbits also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami . Dry, ...


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Figure masculine Bembe
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Bembe

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
This figure with angular contours offers a vertical profile. It would be associated with funerary rites. Cracks and erosions, red ochre highlights.
The Bembe ethnic group is a branch of the Luba that left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of neighboring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region: the Lega, the Buyu, etc.. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the Bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe, such as the Elanda and Alunga societies. Within the Bwami, art objects such as masks and statues had the role of ...


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Bembe fetish statue
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bembé statue

Embodying a hunting ancestor or a warrior, this male figure is covered with clay masses tied around the bust. Ritual charges were introduced there. The eyes are classically inlaid with horn. Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville,and not to be confused with the Bembé group from the north of Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group,Béembé, was influenced by Teke rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo.Settled in the present-day Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the Kongo kingdom, along with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. They were under the tutelage of the king ntotela elected by the governors. The ivory trade, copper and slaves were the main resources of this little known group until ...


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

Variant of the bembe mask, with large whitened orbital cavities. The tip of the nose is erased to leave room for two holes indicating the nostrils. The narrow mouth is just incised. These masks accompanied the rituals of passage during the Bwami circumcision ceremonies. Two-tone patina. Erosions.
Height on base: 37 cm. The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighboring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring the society, but while the Bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other ...


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Bembe fetish statuette
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statuette Bembé

Ex-Monegasque African art collection.
Rare figurine of ancestor bembe milindi whose head has a hole for magical charge. Lustrous dark brown patina.
The Bembe ethnic group is a branch of the Luba that left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighboring ethnic groups in the region of Lake Tanganyika, the Lega, the Buyu, etc.. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the Bwami was exclusive to the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe, such as the Elanda and Alunga societies. Within the Bwami, art objects such as masks and statues had the role of helping aspirants to Kindi, the ...


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Sculpted figure Bembe / Buyu Kalunga
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Bembe

The statue embodies the spirit of water Kalunga, among the many spirits of nature revered by the Buyu. The male character wears the janiform mask Alunga or even Echawakoba shared by the Bembé.Patina satin, abrasions and cracks.

Grating flows have mixed the same territories within the same territories of Bembe, Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo, Binji and Bangubangu. The Bassikassingo, considered by some to be a sub-clan Buyu , are not of bembe origin although they live on their territory, as Biebuyck's work has helped to trace their history. Organized in lineages, they borrowed the association of the Bwami Lega. The traditions bembé and boyo are relatively similar They venerate the spirits of nature, water specifically among the Boyo, Buyu , but also heroic ancestors, whose will is ...

Butende s Bembe/Goma Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe mask

This African tribal mask of the Bembe, associated with the initiation and circumcision rituals of the Butende, has large concave orbits accompanied by animal ears, arranged on an ovoid volume. The barn owl would have inspired these zoomorphic characters. Fracture on the lower contour. Grey beige cracked patina. The Bembe ethnic group is a branch of the Luba who left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighboring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring society, but if the Bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other "bukabo" or "buhabo" ...


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Bembé Echawokaba hem mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe mask

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga, Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and pre-hunting ceremonies. A mask that embodies the god Alunga, it has four tall and wide concave orbits in which a pupil protrudes. Growths, on which feathers were attached, evoke small ears or horns. Its circular base is equipped with perforations in order to be able to fix the raffia adornment to conceal its wearer. Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was preserved in sacred caves and it was during the festivals associated with hunting and the cults of ancestors that it was exhibited. Flat masks with the same concave orbits also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami . Dry crusty patina grey ...


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Masque Bembe Echwaboga
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Bembe

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga , Alunga , exercising social control over the clan , and responsible for public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. A helmet mask embodying the god Alunga , it has four ample concave orbits from which a pupil springs. Excrescences, on which feathers were fixed, evoke small ears or horns. Evoking a forest spirit, this mask was kept in sacred caves and was displayed during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor worship. Matt patina, discreet red ochre highlights.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that is said to have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, ...


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

Four orbits make up the central element of this African mask evoking a face. A raffia ornament decorates the contours. This African mask Ibulu lya 'alunga (head of the alunga) was used during the tribal ritual of male society, exercising social control over the clan and responsible for public dances and ceremonies before hunting. Evocative of a forest spirit, this tribal mask was kept in sacred caves and was displayed during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor worship. They also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami. Polychrome matt patina.
Ethnicity Bembe is a Luba branch that would have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the ...


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Bembe Echawokaba hem mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Bembe mask

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the male society Kalunga, Alunga, exercising social control over the clan, and responsible for public dances and pre-hunting ceremonies. A mask that embodies the god Alunga, it has four tall and wide concave orbits with a conical pupil in relief. Growths, on which feathers were attached, evoke small ears or horns. Its circular base is equipped with perforations in order to be able to fix the raffia adornment to conceal its wearer. Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was preserved in sacred caves and it was during the festivals associated with hunting and the cults of ancestors that it was exhibited. Flat masks with the same concave orbits also appeared during the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami . Dry patina. Localized ...


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

Two large concave orbits fitted with globular eyelids, incised for vision, occupy the upper part of this African Bembe mask. The frightened owl would have inspired these zoomorphic characters. A tubular mouth protrudes. These masks accompanied the rituals of passage during the Bwami's circumcision ceremonies. Two-tone matt patina. Residues of kaolin. Abrasions.


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Grand masque Bembe
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Bembe

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of male society, exercising social control over the clan and responsible for public dances and ceremonies prior to hunting. They also appeared in the circumcision ceremonies of the Bwami. Matt patina beige gray, colored highlights. Xylophagous attacks controlled.
Ethnicity Bembe is a Luba branch that would have left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighbors from the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, etc.. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had an association bwami responsible for initiation and structuring the society but while the bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other associations coexisted among the Bembe.


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