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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.

Kuba jar
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Kuba jar

Belgian African art collection
In the Kuba groups, a wide variety of these sculpted objects with figurative motifs are intended to enhance the prestige of their holder. The character whose head is hollowed out here adopts compacted proportions. Satin patina.
The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim at its center, inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group. This was considered to be of divine origin. Both head of the kingdom and of the bushoong chiefdom, he was attributed supernatural virtues from witchcraft or ancestors. He therefore ensured the sustainability of his subjects, whether through harvests, rain or the birth of children. These magical attributes were not hereditary, however, the king being elected by a council. Source: Kuba, ed. ...


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170.00

Kuba urn
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Kuba urn

Prestigious Kuba-type vase, engraved with traditional frieze patterns, and carved with miniatures representing masks and turtles. Pretty satin patina. Desication cracks.
The Kuba and the tribes established between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers, including the Bushoong and Dengese also originating from the Mongo group, are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the high ranks of their society. Several Kuba groups indeed produced anthropomorphic ceremonial objects with refined designs including cups, drinking horns and goblets. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong, who are still ruled by a king today. It is the most prolific group in Western Kasai. Ritual ceremonies remained an opportunity to display decorative arts and ...


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170.00

Kuba cup
African art > Jars, amphoras, pots, matakam > Kuba cup

This cephalomorphic cup was intended for palm oil. In the kuba groups, a wide variety of these sculptures with figurative motifs are intended to enhance the prestige of their bearer. The edges are fine and regular.
Velvety patina.


The extremely organized and hierarchical Kuba society placed a king or nyim at its center, inspiring the statuary of the ethnic group.
This was considered to be of divine origin. Both head of the kingdom and of the bushoong chiefdom, he was attributed supernatural virtues from witchcraft or ancestors. He therefore ensured the sustainability of his subjects, whether through harvests, rain or the birth of children. These magical attributes were not hereditary, however, as the king was elected by a council.
Source: Kuba, ed. ...


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170.00

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

The Lobi have a great diversity of African sculptures in wrought iron, for protective purposes. This is a figure with a very stylized silhouette. Ocher brown grainy patina.
The populations of the same cultural region, grouped together under the name "lobi", form a fifth of the inhabitants of Burkina Faso. Few in number in Ghana, they have also settled in the north of Côte d'Ivoire. It was at the end of the 18th century that the Lobi, coming from North Ghana, established themselves among the indigenous Thuna and Puguli, the Dagara, the Dian, the Gan and the Birifor. The Lobi believe in a Creator God named Thangba Thu, whom they address through the worship of many intermediary spirits, the Thil, these the latter being supposed to protect them, with the help of the diviner, against a ...


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240.00

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

Janiform sculpted bust associated with the cult of the water spirit Kalunga, among the many nature spirits revered by the Buyu. The Bembe have the same type of figures.
Satin patina of use, traces of kaolin and pink ocher, desiccation cracks.
Migratory flows have mixed Bembe, Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo, Binji and Bangubangu within the same territories. The Bassikassingo, considered by some to be a Buyu sub-clan, are however not of Bembe origin although they live in their territory , the work of Biebuyck having made it possible to retrace their history. Organized in lineages, they borrowed the association of Bwami from the Lega. The bembe and boyo traditions are relatively similar They worship the spirits of nature, water specifically among the Boyo, Buyu , but also the ...


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140.00

Songola mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Songola mask

Flat mask, pierced with circular and rectangular holes for the mouth incised with teeth. The superciliary arches, in relief, emphasize an exorbitant look. Cracked two-tone patina. Height on base: 55 cm. Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye, the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, and they are involved in sculpture, although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of the ancestors of the Nsubi society are reminiscent of those of the Mbole, while other sculptures were kept in baskets as among the Lega. Masks such as our ...


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

Baoulé African art ancestor statue, this Waka-Sona, Waka sran, "being of wood" in Baoulé, embodies aassié oussou, b>being of the earth, genius of nature. It is one of a type of statues intended to be used as a medium tool by the komien, or "komienfoué" soothsayers, the latter being selected by the spirits asye usu in order to communicate revelations from the afterlife or blolo . The second type of statues are the spouses of the afterlife, male, the blolo bian or female, the blolo bia.
In order to give them hold, the braided beards of Baoulé men were coated with shea butter. . Black satin patina. erosions.


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180.00

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

Plane mask to be suspended, whose reliefs come down to the edges dividing the face. The gaping mouth gives it a very special character. Grainy white patina, erosions.
Mixed by alliance with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola or Babili , or Goa , are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the institution Luhuna composed of dignitaries and that of Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, they devote themselves to sculpture, although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the Nsubi society evoke those of the Mbole, other sculptures were kept in baskets as among the Lega. Masks such as ours were used during Nsindi initiation ...


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180.00

Kuba velvet
African art > Textiles, Kuba velvet, Ncak nsueha Bushoong > Kuba velvet

The African art and the refinement of Kuba weaving.
Produced in Zaire by the Shoowa, Bashoowa, subgroup Kuba, these fabrics forming true paintings of primitive art, are made of a raffia textile base on which threads are cut short, forming a velvet effect accentuated by contrasts in tone. The geometrical patterns formed represent the ethnic group's body scarifications or the decorations of sculptures. These refined fabrics were intended to be used at the royal court, as a seat or cover, to enhance its prestige. In many cases, they were used as currency, or followed their owners to the grave, covering the body of the deceased. It was King Shamba Bolongongo who introduced the technique of velvet weaving to Kuba country in the 17th century. He had previously introduced the Kuba ...


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120.00

Dogon Lock
African art > Dogon locks, Bambara locks > Dogon Lock

Collection of Belgian African art.

The locks consist of a vertical element, and a horizontal slider. The surface of the object is engraved with friezes, while carved figures rise at the top.
Locally lightened brown patina.
The closure systems of the Sudanese regions contain characteristic elements of the Dogon cosmogony, according to which the first inhabitants of the Bandiagara area crossed the river on the back of a crocodile. The designs on doors in Mali are intended to deter intruders, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks, like the doors, are cut in wood chosen according to the function of the building in which they will be used. Because each plant is attributed specific virtues.


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340.00

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

This African sculpture naturalistic, allowing according to the Yoruba communication with the afterlife, features as a maternal figure one of the many female goddesses, the earth goddess Onilé ("owner of the House"), guarantor of longevity, peace, and resources, and linked to the powerful Ogboni society among the Yoruba Egba and Ijebu. It could also symbolize Orunmila , goddess of divination.
Intended to be enthroned on an altar, she was worshipped by members of the powerful Ogboni, or Osugbo, society in charge of justice.
Satin polychrome patina, abrasions.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). The kingdoms of Oyo and Ijebu arose following the demise of the Ife ...


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280.00

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

These African statuettes , ritual charms belonging to the lineages and ensuring protection against enemies, were made following the instructions of Nganga ngoombu and the sponsor of the object. The traditional sculptures were then activated with rituals and incantatory formulas, and additions in the form of talismans or medicinal substances. The characteristic headdress is that of the heads of land. These sculptures were often hung in the boxes. Satin patina, abrasions.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the resulting prestige are the opportunity nowadays for the Yaka to invoke ancestors and to evoke rituals with the help of ...


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140.00

Genya sword
African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Genya sword

African weapons, prestige objects then transaction currencies.
Thick notched handle, summarily sheathed in copper at its end. The blade of the sword bears in its center a rib lined with dotted lines. The oxidized patina is orange rust in color.
In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. Transactions were made using cowries, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, especially iron. These primitive currencies were used during commercial and social exchanges, for dowries in particular, but could also constitute objects of parade or throwing weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued against iron bars called barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or routing of the kingdom's currency. The variety of these metallic forms is ...


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150.00

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

These tribal statues protecting against enemies were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the object's sponsor. This tribal art sculpture was then activated using rituals and incantatory formulas. Crouching, holding an imposing horned head with his hands and displaying a grin revealing his teeth, the character embodies an evil spirit, named kiteke. The horns, associated with the red antelope, also refer to the animal's behaviour in the bush and its sexuality. In addition, among the neighboring Kongo clans, the naked posture, crouching, sondama , evokes an emergency action, attacking enemies in a supernatural way. Dark satin patina. Desication crack.
On Arthur P. Bourgeois, these types of statues are fetishes for chiefs among Mbala, Hungaan, Tsaam, Suku, ...


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160.00

Tschokwe mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask

Extending a wide headband chiselled with checkerboards, braids in vegetable fibers, then a hood, adorn this African mask of the Chokwe worn by initiates of high rank. This adornment is reminiscent of the hairstyle coated with red earth of the Chokwe women. Smooth orange-brown patina.
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 sacredness of power. African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi or "akixi" (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of Chokwe tribal art , are exclusively female representations which were accompanied by accessories and finery. Together with their male counterparts, cihongo recognizable by their large plate-shaped headdress, the ...


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160.00

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

Ex-Corsican African art collection.
A wickerwork helmet, on which knotted textile strips form the curls of a dense hairstyle reminiscent of the red earth-coated hair of the Chokwe women. Harmonious features of the face are finely chiselled, enhanced with traditional scarified patterns. Smooth satin orange brown patina.
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 sacredness of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwé never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, the Chokwé eventually seized the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did ...


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

The Nam Gbalang or Lang Badna mask is a powerful symbol of a cult dedicated to a protective genius.

He appears during the rites of passage of the Kaa festival and at the funerals of high-ranking officers.
It is likened to buffalo; it represents the wild spirit of the bush with all its powers and dangerousness.
On some authors he would represent a queen whose chamba lineage claims to descend from the buffalo of the forests.
The rounded dome of the mask refers to death because it depicts a skull, a relic taken from the tomb of an ancient.

The other characteristics are related to the wild world of nature, so the machore that seems toothed symbolizes the crocodile, while the horns, parallel on this copy, would be related to the animals of the forest. ...


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160.00

Crest buffalo Mumuye
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Crest buffalo Mumuye

This bovine mask has simple shapes and a worn patina due to use.A wide mouth composed of two half rings is projected from the lower part of the mask. The horns present at the top of the skull make it possible to determine that it is about a representation of buffalo, animal recurrent in the artistic expression and in the African cosmogonies. The Mumuye are a people very famous for its stylized pieces, whether masks or statues.


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

At the top of this ancient mask are subjects that no doubt symbolize, for the Senoufo, the primordial couple at the origin of creation.
The anthropomorphic masks of the Senufo would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. In a sacred enclosure near the village, the young boys of the Poro initiation society gathered among the trees. They were initiated from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles lasting seven years. Living in a restricted area, the sénufo sculptor, whose training spanned seven years, began by making everyday objects, then, little by little, sported sculptures larger than more important. Initiatory rituals completed his learning.


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

Belgian African art collection
This African Songye mask , an object inspired by the cubist movement, has large pupils projecting on either side of the nasal bridge. Matte polychrome patina. Three types of Kifwebe masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi ). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba, to whom they are related through common ancestors. The Songyes created impressive statues with powerful features often used during secret ceremonies, covered with ...


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190.00

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

Among the wide range of songye sculptures, details distinguish this songye statuette such as the horn inserted into the head by the tip, and the tiny metal crown at the top. The magical power of the bankishi,(sing. Nkishi) is supposed to be enhanced by the addition of accessories, talismans, metal elements, seeds, shells. The abdominal cavity is filled with a magical charge that may be composed of therapeutic ingredients. Lustrous patina, desiccation cracks.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most prized in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is inseparable from ...


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175.00





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