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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 ancestor figure
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African art > Statuette > Bembe ancestor figure

Ex-Belgian African art collection.

This piece was part of the collection of The Jesuit Father Vincent Charles.
This is a Bembe ancestor statuette with a smooth light brown patina. The body and limbs are robust. The shoulders are wide and support short arms, giving off a general look of power.
The torso is engraved with many geometric scarifications. The facial features are realistic and there are earthenware inlays in the eyes to breathe life into the room.

The ethnicity worshipped ancestors and therefore offered sacrifices in their honour in order to keep the dead and the living on good terms.
The Bembe used to fashion these little statues representing an idealized version of the deceased. Protective virtues were granted to them.
These ...


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

The Beembé are appreciated in African art for the care and finishing given to the sculptures of ancestors.
Couple of statues figured side by side. Intricate keloid tattoos are drawn in relief from the chest to the pubis. These scarifications bear witness to the successive stages of initiation to which an individual has been subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with horn. This type of sculpture formed a support intended for the rituals of the Lemba society, with a view to healing for example. Golden satin patina, dark highlights, deep erosions.
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 Babembé group, ...


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

This African mask was used during the tribal ritual of the Elanda male society. Mask embodying the god Alunga, it has large concave orbits and a mouth that seems to whistle. Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was kept in the sacred caves. These masks appeared in various guises during Bwami circumcision and initiation ceremonies.
Matte patina, minimal colored highlights.
Desication cracks.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are marked by the influence of their neighbors 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 whereas the bwami was exclusive to the ...


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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 ...

Bembe fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Bembe fetish

Represented naked and squatting, this ancestor figure bears the keloid signs testifying to the successive stages of initiation to which the individual was subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with bone. Shiny orange-brown patina. Erosions and cracks.

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 Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the Téké rites and culture, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. Hunting being a major activity, the ancestors were invoked through statuettes. These ...


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150.00

Bembe mask
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 ceremonies preceding the hunt. Helm mask embodying the god Alunga, it has four high and wide concave eye sockets with a conical pupil in relief. Growths, on which feathers were fixed, evoke small ears or horns.
Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was kept in sacred caves and it was during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor cults that it was exhibited. Flat masks with the same concave eye sockets also appeared during Bwami circumcision ceremonies. Grainy, velvety dry patina. Cracks and erosions. The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and ...


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390.00

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

French African art collection.
Beembé are valued in African tribal art for the care and finishing given to ancestor carvings for fertility and healing rituals. Male figure, legs apart and slightly bent, with large feet. Intricate keloid tattoos are drawn in relief from the chest to the pubis. These scarifications testify to the successive stages of initiation to which an individual has been subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with it. Polished surface with a mahogany and brown patina.
Black wooden base extra on request.
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 Babembé group, Béembé, was ...


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Bembe figure
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Bembe figure

Statuette embodying the spirit of a female ancestor, whose keloid scars testify to the successive stages of initiation to which the individual was subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with bone. Glossy red-brown patina.

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 Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by the rites and culture Téké, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. The head of the village, nga-bula, was responsible for interceding with the ancestors. Hunting being a major activity, ...


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150.00

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

This African mask probably Bembe, long and narrow, displays large concave bluish rings and a skullcap headdress. This small mask is lined with perforations on the contours in order to fix the traditional raffia adornment.
Height on base: 39 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 tendency 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 the Bembe, such as the Elanda and Alunga companies. Within the Bwami, ...


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340.00

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

Embodying the spirit of an ancestor, this sculpted miniature bears keloid tattoos testifying to the successive stages of initiation to which the individual was subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with bone. Golden mahogany lustrous patina.

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 Babembé group, Béembé, was influenced by rites and culture Téké, but especially by that of the Kongo. Settled in the current Republic of Congo, the Béembé originally formed the kingdom of Kongo, with the Vili, Yombé, Bwendé and Woyo. The head of the village, nga-bula, was responsible for interceding with the ancestors. Hunting being ...


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150.00

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

This African mask embodying the god Alunga was used during the tribal ritual of the male Kalunga society, Alunga, exercising social control over the clan , and responsible for the public dances and ceremonies preceding the hunt. Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was kept in the sacred caves and it was during festivals associated with hunting and ancestor cults that it was exhibited.
Grainy patina, cracks and gaps at the top.
The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century. Their society and artistic tendency are marked by the influence of their neighbors 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 ...


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190.00

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

This African mask was used during the initiation and circumcision rites of the Bwami society, inspired by that of the neighbouring lega. Mask with large concave eye sockets with bulging eyelids, a reduced nose and a tubular mouth. Evocation of a spirit of the forest, this mask was preserved in the sacred caves. Abraded velvety patina, ochre residue.
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 associations coexisted among the Bembe.


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Bembe Biteki figure
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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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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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