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African art - Yoruba:

The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name Nago. They are patrilineal and practice excision and circumcision. Yoruba society is highly organized and has several associations with varying roles. While the male egbe society reinforces social norms, the aro federates the farmers. The gelede is more esoteric and religious. The notables meet in a society called esusu. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose after the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and still form the basis of the Yoruba political structure. The Oyo created two cults centered on the Egungun and Sango societies, which are still active and worship their multiple gods, the Orisa, through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, scepters and divination media. Source: "Yoruba" B. Lawal


Ibedji figures
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibedji 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 are in the form of couple figures. The pieces are bound together with cowrie shells, constituting, along with metal and beads, 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 the twin's ...


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450.00

Yoruba Twins
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba Twins

Here, the "abiku", which is protectively dented, is available in coloured necklaces and a chain made up of cauris that unites the doll statuettes "ere" (statues), evoking twins. Their hairstyle is made up of braids gathered in a conical bun. Hands are placed on the hips. Smooth, sainy surface, residual dark inlays.
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, the remaining twin takes over. A man sometimes had ibeji for his wife to sculpt in order to arouse pregnancy. Supporting the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the ...


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450.00

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

African sculpture associated with "Esu, Eshu", or "Ogo Elegba", divine messenger of the Yoruba pantheon, intermediary between humans and the God Olodumare, supposed to grant benefits and punishments, and guaranteeing the balance of creation through the offerings, sacrifices and libations administered to it. He is Legba in Fon voodoo.
The characteristic hairstyle (figure at the top) symbolizes fertility and energy. These carved figures reflect the iconography of tribal art Yoruba.
Discreetly polychrome patina. Cracks. The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the ...


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Beaded head
African art > Terracotta, jar, amphora, funerary urn > Beaded head

Made in the Cameroonian Grasslands using the traditional decorative technique using multicolored glass beads, this head is inspired by the famous effigies of sovereigns. Carefully applied to a terracotta surface, the pearls accentuate the features and the headdress with strongly contrasting colors.
In African art, the artistic movement of which these sculptures are a part bears the name of the ancient religious capital of Nigeria, Ifè, one of the many city-states established by the Yoruba. This civilization succeeded the Nok civilization. This city-state of Ilé-Ifé, whose rise culminated from the 12th to the 15th century, had an artistic tradition of royal portraits imbued with realism, funeral effigies in bronze but also in terracotta.


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180.00

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

Before the destruction of the palace of the kingdom of Benin 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 many foundry workshops using the lost wax casting technique.
The killing of the king of animals associated with legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the cult of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, it accompanied the leader on his travels. The Oba, named "child of the leopard of the house", could also ...


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

Altar sculpture "Esu, Eshu", or "Ogo Elegba", divine messenger of the Yoruba pantheon, intermediary between humans and the God Olodumare, supposed to grant blessings and punishments, and guaranteeing the balance of creation through the offerings, sacrifices and libations administered to it. He is Legba in Fon voodoo.
The characteristic headdress symbolizes fertility and energy. These carved figures reflect the iconography of tribal art Yoruba.
Locally abraded polychrome patina. Erosions, desiccation cracks. The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the political ...


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390.00

Bénin bronze
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Bénin bronze

This late African bronze of the Benin type, made from a work that was created on the death of the queen, depicts a queen mother of Benin named the Iyoba, whose the neck is surrounded by multiple necklaces of coral beads. Her high curved hairstyle was also made up of a mesh of pearls falling on either side of the face. Black patina, abrasions.
After the birth of the future king, the queen was "removed" from power and could no longer father. But at the end of the 15th century the Oba Esigie refused to conform to this practice and wanted to attribute the city of Uselu to his mother. She also received a palace and many privileges. In recognition she raised an army to go and fight the Igala of the North. The Oba cast a head in his effigy, among many works cast in lost wax, to place them ...


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380.00

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

Featuring numerous protective adornments and accessories, these doll statuettes are (statues), the incarnation of twins, feature a conical hairstyle made of braids, tinged with indigo. The strings of currants symbolize values of wealth and fertility.
SPatine lustrous mahogany.
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 it and feed it regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. A man also sometimes had ibeji for his wife in the hope of pregnancy. Supporting the twin's soul, ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to his parents, ...


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

This voluminous African mask gelede is topped with a sculpted figure of a bird taking flight. The bird symbolizes the power of mothers. Grainy polychrome patina. Desication cracks.
The Gelede country in Nigeria pays tribute to mothers, especially the oldest among them, whose powers are said to be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa, and the ancestors, osi< /i> and which can be used for the benefit but also for the misfortune of society. In the latter case these women are named aje. Masked ceremonies, through performances using masks, costumes and dances, are meant to urge mothers to use their extraordinary qualities for peacemaking and constructive purposes, for the good of society. (Sources: Africa, ed. Prestel; "Yoruba" Rivallain and Iroko, ed. Hazan. )


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450.00

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

The African art of Benin is described as court art because it is closely associated with the king, known as the Oba. The tradition of bronze court objects from the Benin Kingdom dates back to the 14th century. The palace altars were topped with heads, statues, carved ivory tusks, bells and staves. They were used to commemorate an oba and to get in touch with his spirit. This late sculpture, reminiscent of those made when the queen died, features a queen mother of Benin named the Iyoba, whose neck is encircled with multiple necklaces of coral beads. Her high hairstyle was also made up of a mesh of pearls falling on either side of her face. After the birth of the future king, the queen was "removed" from power and could no longer father. But at the end of the 15th century the Oba Esigie ...


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Yoruba Rider
African art > Bronze rider, wooden rider, dogon, yoruba > Yoruba Rider

Within the Yoruba pantheon, Orunmila is the "orisa" deity that one consults in case of problem through divination ifà thanks to the diviner babalawo (iyanifà for a woman). Intended to sit enthroned on the ritual altar, this Yoruba-type sculpture is made up of a box intended for the sacred palm nuts, carried by a horseman figure. The character would embody Esu or Elegba, divine messenger who unites the orisa to men. Satin patina. Cracks and erosions on the base.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by the sculptors at the request of the followers, soothsayers and their customers. These spirits are said to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare. The kingdoms of Oyo and ...


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390.00

Statue post Yoruba Opo
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African art > Post, Toguna, Dogon, Lobi, Ambete, sogho, oron > Statue post Yoruba Opo

In African art, any element of everyday life can become an artistic medium, as this Yoruba veranda statue illustrates.

A character carries on his head a plateau surmounted by a rider and his horse. Above the latter, there is another character, probably a sage given the highlighting of his beard. As often in Yoruba statuary, the patina is made up of relatively bright colors. Although the piece has pigments more discreet than usual, the polychrome has been well preserved. Yoruba society is very organized and has several associations whose roles vary. While the egbe male society reinforces social norms, the aro federates farmers. The freeze has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables meet in a society called esusu.


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Yoruba pillar
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African art > Post, Toguna, Dogon, Lobi, Ambete, sogho, oron > Yoruba pillar

The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy the south-west of Nigeria and the central and south-eastern region of Benin under the name of Nago.

They are patrilineal, practice excision and circumcision. Frequent in Yoruba African art, and for good reason, it is the central theme of the story named " The death and the rider of the king ". This fiction tells the funeral of the late King of Oyo, an ancient 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 to follow in due course the Yoruba religious dogma. The death of the rider is indeed intended to guarantee the king a safe conduit to his new home. Elesin, a simple man enjoying life, is ...


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

Ex-French African art collection.
Elegantly styled, this female African statuette has a thick metallic torque. She wears cheek scarifications. Smooth mahogany patina. Sculpted according to the indications of Ifa transmitted to the diviner, the babalawo, the Ibedji statuettes played the role of substitute for the death of the child. The statues are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of it; she anoints them with oil and feeds them regularly. If it disappears, the remaining twin takes over. Considered more than a physical representation of a loved one, connected to the cult of Shango, ibedji statues are believed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the family continues to address prayers to them at household altars ...


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175.00

Yoruba Sceptre
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African art > Stick of command, chieftaincy > Yoruba Sceptre

The Oshe of the Yoruba intervene during ritual dances. They are carried in the left hand by the dancers. These figures represent through their double ax headdress, the god of thunder and youth Shango, or Sango, mythical ancestor of the kings of Oyo.
Sango was also the protector of the twins, whose occurrence was very common in the region.
It is a deity feared by its unpredictability. It is venerated because it is supposed to bring beneficial rains to crops. It is also to him that the fertility of women is attributed.

Beautiful lustrous patina, discreetly encrusted with blue pigments. erosions.

Yoruba society is highly organized and has several associations with varying roles. While egbe male society reinforces social norms, the aro unites farmers. ...


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Yoruba altar
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba altar

It is in a carved sculpture intended to appear on a Yoruba altar that a deified ancestor, or one of the multiple gods, orisa, is embodied here, comparable to Christian saints. The latter animate the Yoruba pantheon, either the divine messenger Esù or Elégba. The equine, rare in the region, constituted a prestigious attribute which was reserved for the nobility and the sovereigns. The miniature figures would embody followers, provided with symbolic objects.
Crusty matte patina, desiccation cracks, losses.
The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. They are patrilineal, practice excision and circumcision. Centered on its multiple gods or orisa, the Yoruba religion is famous for its ...


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390.00

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

Sculpture depicting a priestess or a follower, with a face marked with vertical "kpele" scarifications. Her body displays traditional tribal markings.

Chipped polychrome patina. Rift.
Yoruba society has several associations whose roles vary. While egbe male society strengthens social norms, aro unites farmers. gelede has more esoteric and religious aims. The notables meet in a society called esusu . Offering cups, some of which were used to keep kola nuts or other gifts for visitors, were once placed in royal palaces in the Ekiti and Igbomina regions of Yoruba country. The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu were born following the disappearance of the Ifé civilization and are still the basis of the political structure of the Yoruba . The Oyo created two ...


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150.00

Ibeji dolls
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ibeji dolls

Ibeji statuettes, embodiment of the missing child in Yoruba African art.
Wide almond-shaped eyes, deep scarification on the faces, braids combined into a crest and identical physiognomies that illustrate the aesthetic traditions in Yoruba African art. Solidly encamped on circular supports, these twins wear pearl and cowrie shell ornaments and large metal rings, these elements being associated with the sacred. Chocolate patina, matte inlays.
In the language of the people Yoruba , ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. These African statuettes named ibeji are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she can wash and feed them regularly. If she dies, the ...


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Yoruba figures
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yoruba figures

These sculptures of golden beige hue, embodying twins, are accessorized with their "abiku" protective ornaments made of metal, shells and beads. Their characteristics link them to the egba style. Desiccation cracks.
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 has to take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over.
Sometimes a man would also have ibeji carved for his wife to induce pregnancy. As a carrier of the twin's soul, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefit to his parents, who continue to offer prayers and ...


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150.00

Ibeji figure
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African art > African Dolls > Ibeji figure

Elegantly coiffed, this male statuette has a thick metallic torque, and a loincloth composed of strings of cowries and beads, the protective "abiku". She wears jugal and body scarifications. Smooth mahogany patina. Carved according to the indications of the Ifa transmitted to the diviner, the babalawo, the Ibedji statuettes played the role of substitute for the death of the child. The statues are then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of them; she anoints them with oil and feeds them regularly. If she disappears, the remaining twin takes over.
Considered as more than a physical representation of a loved one, linked to the cult of Shango, the ibedji statues are believed to influence the life and prosperity of the family, and the ...


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

This sculpture of African tribal art represents by its attitude an image of fertility. Facilitating communication with the sacred, it reminds the deity of his duties to men. Through the child she carries behind her back she symbolizes the protection of her people and fertility. Wearing braids arranged in crests, it also sports the three deep keloids of the Yoruba nobles on each cheek. The globular eyes, fleshy lips, are also distinctive markers of the tribal statuary Yoruba.
A lack is noted on one shoulder, polychrome crusty patina.
The Yoruba traded slaves with the Europeans and especially the Portuguese before being completely subjugated to the English following a long period of infighting between the various kings or oba in place. The main Yoruba cults are the Gelede, ...


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