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African art items:


The achievements of African tribal art fascinated many European artists and collectors in the 20th century. From André Breton to Picasso, all were seized with a buying fever that quickly spread in the middle. If these sculptures are more of an artistic dimension for Westerners, it is nevertheless through their ritual sacralisation that they reveal themselves for the African peoples. Their ceremonial role confers on them a unique power that distinguishes them from other forms of ethnic art. These works were acquired (sold or offered by natives) throughout the twentieth century by ethnologists on mission or colonial cooperatives to be exhibited in museums, or integrated into prestigious private collections. This is the story of these pieces that we propose to discover through our gallery and our website.

Mbagani mask, Babindji
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Mbagani mask

Quite characteristic of the Mbagani, Babindji, the oversized kaolin-coated eye sockets stretch to the tiny ears. The triangular nose, the projected volumes of the mouth and the curved chin (break) also form distinctive elements of the Mbagani.
. Height on base: 49 cm.
The Mbagani come from the now extinct Mpasu group, itself a subgroup of the Lulua , or Béna Lulua , and to which the Salampasu also belong. Together with the Ding they form a group of 50,000 individuals established in the D.R.C. near the Angolan border. They have been marked by the influence of their neighbors Lunda and the former occupants Chokwe. Organized into small independent chiefdoms, they cultivate mainly maize, with women embroidering textiles woven by the men. The masks are said to be associated ...


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Big Dogon Gate
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Dogon Gate

The systems of closure of the Sudanese regions in African art
This ancient door Dogon equipped with its lock, carefully carved, evokes by its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations the rich cosmogon Dogon. According to Dogon mythology, the first inhabitants of the Bandiagara area crossed the river on the back of a crocodile. They appear horizontally on the top of the door shutters. The characters can symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also appear frequently. The door consists of two vertical panels that hold large staples métalliques.br
The motifs present on the doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to deter the intruder, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks, like the doors, are cut from ...


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Protective figure Bena Lulua
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lulua figure

The different types of statues Luluwa, Lulua, or Bena Lulua, with multiple scarifications, glorify local chiefs, maternity, fertility and the female figure.
Belonging to the cult Buanga bua cibola , this female figure is believed to protect children and pregnant women. Through the position of the hands in fact, this figure highlights a prominent abdomen, the center of the body and "object of all solicitudes" (The Power of the Sacred , M. Faïk-Nzuji ) Salient scarifications adorn the body. Satin brown patina.
Glossy black patina, desiccation cracks.
It was in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua, or Béna Lulua, settled from West Africa. Their social structure, based on castes, is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few ...


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140.00

Lega mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

This African mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This society is open to men and women. The center of the mask is coated with kaolin and is cut into a heart. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality. Abraded two-tone patina. Residues of kaolin. Height on base : 34 cm. Within the Lega, the Bwami society open to men and women,organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda during the seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, they live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, kindi, ...


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100.00

Mbala Pindi maternity figure
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbala figure

Ex-collection French African art.
A tribal sculpture of a woman, a child on the hip, it stands out by a careful representation of the details and has a beautiful oiled patina to the satin touch, lighter in the protrusions. This type of object was a sacred symbol of authority. The hairstyle depicted offers great similarities with the mukote cap which, among the western pends with which the Mbala shared the rituals of mukanda circumcision , became a symbol of the struggle against colonization in the early 20th century ( "Congo Masks", ed. M.L. Félix, p.114)
A large drying crack appeared. wood erosion. This motherhood, accompanied by a musician figure, Limba, was part of the pair of emblematic Pindi sculptures attributed to Chief Mbala during his induction. After a retreat of a ...


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160.00

Fetish statue Nkishi of Songye
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

Extravagant feet protrude from the circular promontory on which this fetish Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi), carved in angular volumes, is established. The hands highlight a protruding abdomen, witness to the lineage. A ritual magic charge of organic or vegetable ingredients was usually introduced into the horn at the top. Checkerboard scarifications bear witness to the influence of neighbouring luba. Brown patina nuanced with grey. Kaolin residue.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. Large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while smaller figures belong to an individual or family. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left ...


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350.00

Fetish statue Nkisi Songye
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Songye Fetish

The sculpture with a face evoking the masks kifwebe related to the society Bwadi ka bifwebe has ritual accessories in the form of metal elements, a horn and a bead of skin usually containing a magical charge. A fur loincloth marks the waist. Eroded wood, lacks.
The fetish Songye, magic sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large size specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the sixteenth century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to whom they are related through common ...


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Lwena Chokwe Pipe
African art > African pipes in wood, in bronze > 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, ...


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100.00

Tikar bronze fetish
African art > Bronze, leopard, messenger, warrior, statue, pirogues > Tikar bronze

French African art collection.
Small, almost supernatural figure offering a spherical head, globular abdomen and graceful limbs. It probably illustrates the Fon , chief of the clan . The figure is topped with a bird. Misses and cracks under the buttocks.
The Tikar inhabit the western part of central Cameroon, which is located within the dense secondary forest of medium altitude, bordering the Mbam. Within this ecotone, the "Tikar plain" (which takes its name from its occupants) constitutes a depression that backs onto the west and north respectively of the Mbam massif (and its Mapé and Kim tributaries) and the first foothills of the Adamaoua plateau. The structure of the kingdom consists of a large chiefdom subdivided into quarters: the residences of the queens, the ...


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150.00

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

An ogival head with a blind, striated face, a neck imprisoned in angular excrescences, shoulders and hips in the shape of a disc overhanging compacted, rounded legs, these elements combine to compose this Dogon sculpture.
Velvety matt patina, cracks and slight abrasions. Carved for the most part on commission by a family and in this case arranged on the family altar Tiré Kabou, the Dogon tribal statues can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on ancestor altars and participate in various rituals including those of the seed and harvest periods. Their functions, however, remain little known. In parallel with Islam, Dogon ...


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Luba Kifwebe Kikashi mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Kifwebe mask

Ex Belgian African art collection This African mask Songye, the kikashi, embodies a positive force. The half-closed palpebral slits are stretched toward the temples, with the nose and mouth projecting rectangularly. The flat nasal-frontal ridge indicates that this is a female mask. Parallel striations are etched into the white-pigmented surface.
Three variants of this Kifwebe (pl. Bifwebe) or "death chaser" mask (Roberts), from the society of the same name, can be distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the border area between the Northern Luba and the Songye of the Southeast. They are ...


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Gouro, Guro, Kono loom pulley
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Gouro Pulley

Aesthetics of everyday life for African art from the Ivory Coast. The angular stirrup, decorated with geometric motifs, is surmounted by a character holding his long beard. The protruding joints, rendered in a very realistic manner, are masterfully carved.
The figurative motifs of these pulleys are very diverse: cephalomorphic or zoomorphic among the Baule and Gouro, while the Senufo frequently decorated them with hornbill figures. Dark brown granular patina.
In Ivory Coast, the most ordinary objects had to meet aesthetic criteria. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are a pretext for refined artistic expression on the part of sculptors. The technique of cotton weaving spread to West Africa thanks to the movements of the Dioulas. Before colonization, ...


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120.00

Senoufo du Poro Kraamkliniek
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Senufo statuette

This statuette of maternity, a female effigy seated on a stool, breastfeeding her child, is represented with braids assembled in a stylized pattern. This sculpted scene generally symbolizes the initiate feeding on the knowledge of the mother goddess. Irregular blackish patina, satin, erosions.
The Senufos , a name given to them by the French colonists, are mostly composed of farmers who are scattered between Mali, the Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso. Councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo .
At the time of the death of one of the members of the Poro initiation society, statues named pombibele were exhibited. Although exclusively male, the Poro ...


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130.00

Luba Shankadi neck support
African art > Head rest > Luba headrest

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

The Shankadis belong to the luba group, and have the same associations and structures. Their mostly realistic statuary is characterized by spectacular hairstyles, a smooth surface, and smaller lower limbs. The "cascade" hairstyle illustrates one of the different braided compositions fashionable in Zaire in the 1800s, highlighting the social status of the wearer. The female effigy symbolizes the Luba royalty and the major role of women within it. Neck rests were also used to support the heads of the deceased, and sometimes, according to Albert Maesen, buried in their place. Locally abraded dark brown oiled patina.
The Luba (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the ...


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100.00

Fon Voodoo fetish
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Fon fetish

Ex-collection British African art.
This pair of wooden fetishes intertwined with leather cords and straps, whose facial features seem to have been eroded by time, is typical of the Voodoo cult. The numerous ritual libations are at the origin of this crusty patina characteristic of the Fon ethnic group. The multitude of Fon gods (the vodun), similar to those of the Yoruba under different names, is represented by fetishes of all shapes and all kinds. Their shrines are found in Togo, Dahomey, and western Nigeria. Statuettes embodying the legba, protectors of the home, are often attached to them. The faithful administer daily offerings and libations to them, supposedly to activate their power. The Fon are currently found in a part of the Republic of Benin called the Kingdom of ...


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Senoufo Kpélié mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Senoufo mask

Collection African tribal art French.
In African art, the masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
Various protrusions alternate around this mask depicting a narrow face. It is surmounted by a stylized carved motif.
Red brown matte patina.
"Kpélié" meaning "mask that jumps", this African mask is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth. Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to keep them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Living in a reserved neighborhood, the ...


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Luba / Zula Kipona seat
African art > Chair, palaver seat, throne, stool > Luba seat

Ex-collection British African tribal art.
Sacrality of the carved seats, regalia of prestige, in the primitive African art. A female figure squatting with legs widely apart (Zula style), supporting the tray of a circular seat, forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). The protruding scarification marks converging towards the umbilicus, the "center of the world" associated with lineage, bear witness to notions of fertility. This stool named lupona ,or kioni ,kipona , kiona , according to the sources, is the meeting point of the sovereign, his people, and the protecting spirits and ancestors, where past and present symbolically and spiritually mingle. It once formed the foundation on which the king was enthroned. The seats were laid out on leopard skins ...


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150.00

Boa Bavobongo Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Boa Mask

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.
Consisting of different planes of contrasting colors and provided with large ears, this African mask kpongadomba or " Pongdudu " was supposed to make it invulnerable. Its appearance wanted to terrify the enemy. This mask of African art kpongadomba of the Boa was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior. It was then kept in his wife's hut. The oversized ears are perforated like the ear pavilions of the Eastern Boa. The " bavobongo " has a mouth with teeth represented by sticks, and gave an impressive appearance to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors. Locally abraded glossy patina.
Close to the Mangbetu and Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. ...


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180.00

Mask Boa Kpongadomba, Pongdudu
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Boa Mask

With oversized ears, perforated as were the earlobes of the Eastern Boa, the "bavobongo", and a mouth lined with sticks featuring scattered teeth, this African tribal mask conferred an impressive appearance on its wearer. Abraded semi-matt patina. Cracks of desiccation.

Supposed to make one invulnerable and with the aim of terrifying the enemy, the African mask kpongadomba or " Pongdudu " of the Boa was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the most valiant warrior . It was then kept in his wife's hut. Close to the Mangbetu and the Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa have used these masks for educational purposes with children since the pacification of the Uele region.


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180.00

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

These tribal statues, ritual charms belonging to lineages and providing protection against enemies, were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's patron. These African sculptures were then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas, and additions in the form of talismans or medicinal substances. The headdress is that of the earth chiefs, the nose has a characteristic snub nose shape. These sculptures were often hung in the huts. Matt patina, pinkish ochre highlights. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right of life and death over their subjects. The hunt and the prestige that comes with it are the occasion today for the Yaka to invoke the ancestors ...


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110.00

Yaka Yiteke Fetish
African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Yaka figure

African art, lineage charms
Ex-collection French tribal art.
This anthropomorphic figure must have contained a ritual magic charge, textile now missing held it all around the bust of the figure. These tribal statues providing protection against enemies were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's sponsor. This powerful tribal art object was then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas. One of the feet is damaged. Satin patina. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs who had the right of life and death over their subjects. The hunt and the prestige that comes with it are the occasion today for the Yaka to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using ...


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110.00





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