Search option

Discover our exceptionnal items

African art - African pipes in wood, in bronze:

The use of the pipe is ancestral and Africa has been called the "land of pipes" because of the great number and variety. Cameroon is the country that has provided a very large quantity of pipes, whether they are made of wood for the ordinary citizen or bronze if it is devolved to the chief. The pipe has a social and human role in Cameroonian society, it is said that "it soothes hearts", "it gives happiness", it directs thoughts" etc...

Tabwa Water Pipe
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Tabwa

Anthropomorphic water pipe featuring a slender female figure, whose bust is inspired by the doll statuettes Mpundu of female societies. The perosnnage sits on the spherical pipe bowl made of a calabash. These pipes were used to reduce the harshness of fresh tobacco. Black oiled patina. Desiccation cracks.
The Tabwa ("to scarify" and "to write") are an ethnic group found in southeastern DRC, around Lake Tanganyika. Tribes in this region, such as the Tumbwe, worship ancestors mipasi through carvings held by chiefs or witch doctors.
Simple cultivators without centralized power, the Tabwa federated around tribal chiefs after coming under the influence of the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was expressed mainly through statues but also ...

View details


Makonde anthropomorphic pipe
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Makonde

Ex-collection french african tribal art.

Evoking a human silhouette, this pipe decorated with patterns in relief belonged to a notable makonde. Its fist presents a lustrous patina due to use, while indigenous restorations remain perceptible. A similar example appears on page 202 of "L'Art tribal d'Afrique noire" by J.B. Bacquart (ed. Assouline). Desiccation cracks. Beautiful warm brown satin patina.
The Makonde people of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalist female statuary. In addition to the facial masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that instruct young people about the requirements of marriage and ...

View details


Luba ceremonial water pipe
Sold item
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Luba

Set on the stove of a water pipe, this sculpture depicting the female ancestor Luba, a spiritual medium associated with royalty, features a cross-haired hairstyle behind a broad headband that reveals a shaved forehead. The tiara is indeed extended by a sophisticated hairstyle that was composed of braids and copper wires. The so-called 'epi' scarifications, the tactile mnemonic code, cover the abdomen and lower abdomen, directing the gaze towards the protruding umbilical. The attitude, hands placed on the chest, implies that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
Satin brown Patine. Height on a base: 36 cm.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, ...

View details


Lwena Chokwe Pipe
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Pipe Chokwe

Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied and quality pieces that the Lunda court employed only them. Aimed in most cases at satisfying the thirst for prestige of their holders, however, ...

View details


Lega Water Pipe
Sold item
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Pipe League

This lega water pipe consists of a gourd decorated with faces, cauris and peeled seeds. Its mouthpiece is wrapped in necklaces of glass beads. The object is topped with anthropomorphic bone-patterned tips.
The African art of the Lega, Balega, or Warega , is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette Iginga (Maginga in plural), was the property of the high-ranking Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba ...

View details


Pipe Ngeende Cuba
Sold item
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Ngeende

Among the Kuba clans, the Ngeendes produced an abundance of prestigious sculptures, sometimes intended for neighbouring groups. This figurative pipe is composed of a cephalomorphic furnace, which takes the characteristics of the hairstyles of the notable kuba, flared headdress and braids in the shape of twisted horns. Zoomorphic, geometric and annal pattern alternate, etched in relief on the pipe.
On the tradition, the Ngeende, which is believed to be descended from the mythical ancestor Woot, came from the north of the Sankuru River. After being defeated by a Bushoong king, they entered the Kuba kingdom in the 16th century. They worship ngesh, spirits of nature, like the Kete. They produced a large number of masks associated with Woot's history.

View details


Pipe anthropomoprhe Mangbetu
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Pipe Mangbetu

Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, the Mangbetu kingdom has expressed itself through architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, adornments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The Mangbetu story was based on the refinement of his court but also on cannibalistic customs. King Mangbetu Munza was so dubbed The cannibal king. The body lines on the characters, like those of the face, include the traditional paintings of the ethnic group, inspired by the tattoos of the nearby Asua pygmies, and which varied according to the circumstances. Indeed, among the Mangbetu from an early age, upper-class children suffered a compression of the cranial box, held tight by rapia ties. Later, the hair was 'knitted' on ...

View details


Luba Shankadi large water pipe
Sold item
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > Luba pipe

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Riding the furnace of a water pipe, this Luba female effigy, a spiritual medium, has classic features in an ovoid face. Its Shankadi-type headdress, behind a wide headband that unveils a shaved forehead, evokes the hairstyles of Luba women at the beginning of the twentieth century. Her attitude, with her hands positioned on both sides of the chest, reminds us that the secrets of royalty (bizila) belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediary. Satin brown patina.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a Central African people. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the lubu river, so the name (Baluba, which means «the Lubas»). They were born of a secession of the Songhoy ethnic group, under the ...

Previously viewed items
African art  -  Brussels - Paris - London

© 2021 - Digital Consult SPRL

Essentiel Galerie SPRL
73 Rue de Tournai - 7333 Tertre - Belgique
+32 (0)65.529.100