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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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Large statue of a dignitary Bambara
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > dignitary Bambara

Ex private French collection of African art.

This Bambara dignitary figure is distinguished by its high stature and the solemnity of its expression. Her eyelids are lowered, adding an enigmatic character, and the stylization of her features is reminiscent of her Dogon neighbors. The naked person sits proudly on a stool, a weapon in each hand. He wears an ovoid headdress on his head. Two braids hang from the back of the head. The dark patina has beautiful traces of desiccation and a nice aging. The Bambara are found in central and southern Mali. This name means unbeliever and was given to them by the Muslims. They belong to the large Mande group, like Soninke and Malinke. They believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, which has 266 sacred attributes. ...

Great throne Tikar in bronze
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African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Great throne Tikar in bronze

Ex private French collection of African art.

This tikar throne is an exceptional piece composed of a multitude of small cariatid characters with different looks, accoutrements and ornaments.
Among other things, the king is found with his court composed of dignitaries.
Set in the central place of the upper rank, it is surrounded by musicians and women.
The seat, back restand and armrests are decorated with geometric patterns.

The Tikar set sain set in the western part of central Cameroon, which lies within the middle-altitude secondary dense forest along the Mbam River. Within this ecotone, the "plaine tikar" (named after its current occupants) is a depression that leans west and north respectively to the Mbam massif (and its Mapé and Kim ...

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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Couple of large beaded Bangwa statues
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Couple of large beaded Bangwa statues

The fame of Bangwa art in African art comes mainly from their statuary, whose major works are the commemorative sculptures of kings, queens, princesses and titled servants, as well as relatives of twins. These beaded statues hold gourds with stoppers, filled with palm oil, which were served during the festivities. These gourds adorned with pearls were considered prestigious possessions throughout the Cameroonian Grasland.

The Bangwa are united in a small kingdom within the important Bamileke tribe in the west of Cameroon. One can observe the influence of the Bamileke on Bangwa statuary in which one finds the same type of facial features and morphology although pearls are not used. The position of the body is classical, with the lower and upper limbs bent. Typical of the ...


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

Ex French private collection of African art.

The Bamiléké, a sub-group of a larger tribe also made up of the Bamoun and Tikar, excelled in the creation of multicolored beaded statues, a sign of prosperity and wealth, giving the royal object the brilliance that distinguishes it from common objects.

A basic structure is carved in wood and then covered with a lattice of beads whose colors correspond to the different chieftaincies.

Among the Bamileke, as in other ethnic groups, art objects testified to the position of their owners in the hierarchy of society. Thus, the materials and shapes of the objects varied according to social status. King Bamileke, also known as the Fon, who was the guarantor of the fertility of the soil and the protection ...


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Big Bangwa Lefem Statue
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Bangwa Statue

The fame of Bangwa art in African art comes mainly from their statuary whose major works are the commemorative sculptures of kings, queens, princesses and titled servants, as well as parents of twins. in a small kingdom within the large Bamileke tribe in western Cameroon, the influence of the Bamileke on Bangwa statuary in which we find the same type of facial features and morphology although the pearls are not The position of the body is classic, with the upper and lower limbs flexed.Bangile statues of the Bamileke country, often represent the fertility but also the power and combativeness.They are often positioned on each side of the induction chairs during meetings of notables.


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Bamileke Bed
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Bamileke Bed

This bamileke bed is carved from a unique piece of wood.
The upper part is decorated with an animal, while the supporting parts are made up of heads and figures with typical bamileke features reminiscent of an elephant. The faces are relatively imposing and decorated with wide eyes. The ears stand out in the same plane as the face. The noses are flattened.
Among the Bamilekes, as in other ethnic groups, art objects testified to the position of their owners in the hierarchy of society. Thus, the materials and shapes of the objects varied according to social status. The Bamileke king, also known as the fon, guarantor of the fertility of the soil and the protection of his subjects, was not ...


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