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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.

Couple primordial Luba
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African art > African Statues > Statues Luba

br-Sceptres, statuettes of ancestors, objects of divination in the primitive art of the Luba
The Luba were mainly established in the Upemba valley and along the banks of the Lualaba.This couple of androgynous figures, with long arms and legs intertwined, face each other. A tiara with losangic motifs delimits a deliberately shaved forehead. These statuettes were ritually oiled in homage to the ancestors. Erosions. Dark skate. According to P. Nooter these figures also represented the soothsayer's wife, which underlines its importance in the divination process bilumbu .  According to some Luba, however, although a woman, she would represent the first soothsayer Luba, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful society of the Mbudye associated with royal power. This ...


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Statuette Attié
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African art > African Statues > Statuette Attié

African art and female effigies in Côte d'Ivoire. This African statue of the Attié forms an incarnation of a royal figure wearing majestic braided hulls, towering over a stool. Grey beige patina, kaolin residue.

The lagoon populations of eastern Côte d'Ivoire mainly include the Attié, Akyé, the Ebrié and the Abouré. Their sculptures offer many similarities. These kingdoms had the first commercial settlements offering gold, ivory, slaves and pepper to the West.Their history is marked by their turbulent relations with Portuguese, Dutch and English settlers in this coastal region where an intense trade in gold and slaves took place. Among the group of Akan , the Attié , of Akye-Fo, the holders of the blade, are divided between those of the North and those of the South. The Attié, ...


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Figure Boyo/Buyu Kalunga
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African art > African fetish > Figure Buyu

This janiform sculpture with hollowed-out pupils, projected into large bleached cavities, is carried by a base evoking traditional African stools. This object is associated with the worship of the water spirit Kalunga , among the many spirits of nature revered by the Buyu. The Bembe have comparable statuettes. Satiny patina, desication cracks.
Fral flows have mixed Bembe, Lega, Buyu (Buye) or Boyo, Binji and Bangubangu, within the same territories. The Bassikassingo , considered by some to be a sub-clan Buyu , are not of bembe origin although they live on their territory, as Biebuyck's work has traced their history. Organized in lineages, they borrowed the association of the Bwami Lega. The traditions bembé and boyo are relatively similar They venerate the spirits of nature, water ...


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280.00 € 224.00 ( -20.0 %)

Punu mask of Okuyi dance
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African art > African mask > Punu Mask

Refinement of Gabon's white African masks in a contemporary version.
This African mask features coffee bean eyelids, a narrow mouth with protruding lips, and scarification patterns, in nine scales, 'mabinda', are inscribed on the forehead and temples; a thick raffia trim, embellished with cursings and colorful pearl necklaces, highlights the contours. These hairstyles come in different forms and illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. A basket helmet, covered with canvas, extends the double top shell at the back.
The okuyi masks were displayed during rituals with very ancient origins in which dancers mounted on stilts agitated in order to invoke the spirit of a deceased with a mask depicting a beautiful young woman.
This rituals took place during ...


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225.00 € 180.00 ( -20.0 %)

Statuette Iginga Sakimatwematwe
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African art > African Statues > League Statues

African lega art and initiation materials.
African tribal sculpture Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations, its structure is in the form of a central trunk around which janiform losangic faces overlap. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations ...

Luba Kifwebe Mask
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African art > African mask > Luba Mask

However, this rounded mask with similarities to the Songye masks did not have the same function. This category of rather rare African masks are named "bifwebe". They appeared at funerals and investitures. They performed during the ritual ceremonies of the society kazanzi , charged with fighting witchcraft. According to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "Bifwebe" (Sing.: kifwebe) would mean, according to C. Faïk-Nzuji, "ching death". Worn with a voluminous raffia collar that concealed the dancer, this mask was usually danced in the company of a zoomorphic mask. In the Luba, white is synonymous with the relationship with the spiritual world, by the evocation of the moon evoked by the circular shape of the object. The globular eyelids are hollowed out, like the nostrils and mouth. Parallel stripes are ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Masque facial Igbo Agbogo Mmwo polychrome
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African art > African mask > Igbo Mask

This Igbo African mask called Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, thanks to narrow slits for the eyes, a face with sharp features coated in white, traditionally pointed teeth, scarifications and tattoos. The headdress is made up of large braids. Chipped kaolin patina, abrasions. The white color of the gbo-gho-mmwo body refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means 'spirit of the dead', especially of young girls, although it is worn by young men in order to honor the spirit of the earth.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They managed to associate a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. Their political ...


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380.00 € 304.00 ( -20.0 %)

Head of reliquary Betsi Nlo Angokh
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African art > African Reliquary > Head Fang

African art and funeral rites
A large head with the concave face characteristic of the Betsi style, with cabochon pupils, is topped with braids accessorized with metallic bells. Restorations were carried out using resin and metal staples. Mate crusty patina.
Fach the Fangs of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a Byeri, or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the esa. The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as the guardian of the 'byeri' boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to society. So, so. The term Angokh means ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Statuette Ngbaka, Bwaka
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African art > African Statues > Statuette Ngbaka

The Ubangian crucible has produced many statuettes that share certain similarities, such as a heart-shaped face, as in the Ogooué River region of Gabon. Some authors (Celenko 1983) have attributed this type of work to the Zande living north of the Ngbaka.The Ngbaka form a homogeneous people of the north-west of the R.D.C., south of Ubangui. The Ngandi live to the east and the Ngombe to the south. Tribal art' 'a href'U'0022http://www.ngbaka.ugent.be/beliefs"-ngbaka has given birth to a few statues depicting their mythical heroes Nabo and Seto that they worship and a very small number of masks. Zoomorphic figures were used for hunting. The heartside bears the grainy residues of white clay, and the eyes encrusted with cauris seem ajar. An incision is the mouth. The arms are plated in ...


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280.00 € 224.00 ( -20.0 %)

Bundu Mask - Sowei Mende
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African art > African mask > Mende Mask

In African art, sowei form an idealized representation of female beauty through Mende culture. They embody aquatic spirits. This cephalomorphic mask forms a copy of the type of masks named bundu the most important in the Mendes. The face has a high bulging forehead forming the top half. The features are concentrated tightly in the lower part, which is engulfed in a neck where the folds symbolizing prosperity appear an abundance of flesh. Painted black or tinted with a leaf brush, the mask was then rubbed with palm oil. Semi-saturated patien, grainy residual inlays, erosions, slight cracks of desication.br-The cultures Mende, Vaï and Gola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the west coast of Guinea, are known in African art for masks and especially those of the women's initiation society Sandé ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Primitive Idoma currency
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African art > Usual african items > Idoma currency

This primitive African currency takes the form of a flared blade that extends from a flat handle. Its surface is hammered with notches forming a regular relief. The lower base, pointed, could be stuck in the ground. In Africa, before the colonial period, payments were never made in coins. The transactions were made by means of cowries, pearls, cattle, kola nuts, but also metals, including iron in particular. These primitive currencies were used during commercial and social exchanges, especially for dowries, but could also be parade objects or jet weapons. In Sierra Leone, goods were valued in relation to iron bars named barriferri. The king generally controlled the production or the conveyance of the currency of the kingdom. The variety of these metal forms is wide, and these sometimes ...


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Guro, Gouro Mask-Cimier
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African art > African mask > Gouro Mask

Hybrid composition of two animals embodying two of the many geniuses of the bush yu for the company dye., the latter exercising a form of justice within the group. Most of the animals in the forest are represented by masks in the Gouro. The alliance with the geniuses would have been contracted as a result of the women's refusal to grant water to the crusading geniuses in the bush, and the men offered them palm wine. The head of the antelope is removable.
Patine semi-saturated. Abrasions.
Organized in lineages, the Gouros are the western neighbors of the Baoulé. Their respective sculptures, by their morphology, bear witness to their close relationships. Priest and soothsayer share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. The secret associations worship the geniuses of ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Fetish statue Nkishi Songye
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African art > African fetish > Songye Fetish

Always intriguing by the diversity of their magic paraphernalia, the African fetishes of Songye, specialists in the field: Ingredients of various origins were introduced in the abdomen of fetishes, in the horn, sometimes also in pouches attached to the loincloth, in order to strengthen the power of the object. Textiles, feathers and necklaces were also necessary attributes to guard against witchcraft.
The summit horn is absent on this work which is disitngue by its skin cloak and its mouth and abdomen that reveal broken horns and animal teeth. Patine mate.
The Songye came from the Shaba region of the DRC and settled along the Lualaba River in the middle of the savannah and forests. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the ...


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240.00 € 192.00 ( -20.0 %)

Suku fetish statue
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African art > African Statues > Fetish Suku

The Suku chiefs used fetishes called bwene , bisungu representing the ancestor of the clan, such as this sculpture with angular ridges. The character seems to draw the viewer's attention to the long, narrow beard adorning his face, under a spectacular diamond-shaped mouth. Dark patina with reddish reflections revealing the subtle veining of the wood. Cracks.
The Suku and Yaka ethnic groups, very close geographically in the south-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the Kwango region, have the same social and political structure as well as similar cultural practices. They can only be differentiated by their stylistic variations. Their carved wooden figures, through which they honour their ancestors, and their masks are well known.


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245.00 € 196.00 ( -20.0 %)

Yoruba Altar
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African art > African Reliquary > Yoruba Altar

Yoruba statuary in African art

Oyo and Ijebu was born following the disappearance of the civilization Ifé and are still the basis of the political structure of the Yoruba. The Oyo created two cults centered on the ever-active Egungun and Sango societies, which worship their gods through ceremonies using masks, statuettes, sceptres and divination supports.

When the masks are not worn, they are placed on altars where they receive libations and prayers.
On a hollow base adorned with the faces of Orunmila god of divination but also perhaps of the divine messenger Esu, a group of characters is carved in round-bump. A pregnant woman sits in a chair in front of a second female figure standing. Four other miniature female figures, wearing ridges, kneel around them. ...


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Chef Chokwe effigy
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African art > African Statues > Chef Chokwe effigy

Chockwe in African art.
Sculpté in a piece of monoxyle wood, the character is here perched on a circular pedestal, knees half bent. The prominence of the abdomen is enhanced by amplified hands, as are feet with exaggerated volume, indicating its power. It bears the head adornment of the Chokwe aristocrats, high and elaborate, with curved side fins. Its high, bulging forehead, accentuated by shaving hair, was once an ideal of beauty among the Chokwe. On the other hand, the sculptor has particularly cared for the musculature of his subject, which the smooth and shiny brown patina also enhances.
Paisiblely 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 ...


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Yoruba rider figure
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African art > African Rider > Cavalier Yoruba

It is in a sculpted statuette intended to appear on a Yoruba altar that a divinized ancestor, or one of the many gods, orisa, comparable to the Christian saints, who animate the pantheon of Yoruba, the divine messenger Esù or Elegba. The equine, rare in the region, was an attribute of prestige that was reserved for the nobility and the sovereigns.
This sculpture has certain constant elements and characteristics such as a mount of different proportions than the rider. The horse perched on a plinth has a small size. The character with the typical Yoruba facies has triple claw incisions on the face of the cheeks, smokes the pipe and is equipped with a rifle. Patina mate polychrome granular. Kaolin residue.
Soruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central ...


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Luba ceremonial water pipe
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African art > pipe > 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, ...


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350.00 € 280.00 ( -20.0 %)

Ngil s Fang Mask
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African art > African mask > Fang Mask

Rituals of justice and African masks Fang. Sober monochrome for this Fang mask, where the powerful nose, circular pupils and pouting mouth form an inquisitive character.
The appearance of these kaolin-coated masks (the white color evokes the power of ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause dread. This type of mask was used by the male society ngil in northwestern Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea.  This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla. The wearers of these masks, always in large numbers, appeared at night, lit by torches. Their intervention was also linked to the judicial function by identifying the culprits of the bad deeds within the village.  The Fang ...


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480.00 € 384.00 ( -20.0 %)

Biga Mossi Fertility Doll
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African art > African Dolls > Biga doll

A schematic anthropomorphic figure, whose appearance of the head varies by region, it represents a spirit with which a relationship is established. The tubular bust, slightly bulging in the abdomen, has conical breasts. The thin angular head worn by a long neck refers to the female hairstyle in crest, the incisions parallel to the scarifications and braids of the ethnic group. Locally thinly lit dark brown glossy patina.
The use of dolls by young African women is not done exclusively within the initiation context. When menstruation occurs, the girl is considered a potential mother. In many ethnic groups, the search for fertility is done through intitiatic rites. Wooden figures will then be carved, some reflecting both genres, in many cases coated with beads and clothing. During the ...


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180.00 € 144.00 ( -20.0 %)

Statuette Ere Ibedji Yoruba
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African art > African Dolls > Statuette Ibeji

Wearing braids in conical buns, this female statuette depicted perched on a circular base, features a thick metal torque, wide rings on the wrists. Crusty libation residues clustered on the surface. Indigo pigments remain on the headdress. Sculpted according to the Ifa indications transmitted to the soothsayer, 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; they anoint them with oil and feed them regularly. If it disappears it is the remaining twin who takes over.
Puted as much more than a physical representation of a loved one, linked to the cult of Shango, the ibedji statues are supposed to influence the life and ...


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290.00 € 232.00 ( -20.0 %)





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