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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.

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

The Beembé are appreciated in African art for the care and finishing given to the sculptures of ancestors.
Couple of statues figured side by side. Intricate keloid tattoos are drawn in relief from the chest to the pubis. These scarifications bear witness to the successive stages of initiation to which an individual has been subjected. Sometimes set with ivory or earthenware, the almond-shaped eyes are encrusted with horn. This type of sculpture formed a support intended for the rituals of the Lemba society, with a view to healing for example. Golden satin patina, dark highlights, deep erosions.
Established on the plateaus of the People's Republic of Congo ex.Brazzaville, and not to be confused with the Bembe group of northern Lake Tanganinyika, the small Babembé group, ...


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490.00  392.00

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

African mask offering a spherical head separated by large eyelids from the narrow plane of the cheeks. The streaks are printed here in alternating directions, reinforcing the volumes. The term Kifwebe designates the mask, the society of masks, and the wearer of the mask belonging to the male secret society bwadi bwa kifwebe which ensured the social control. Matt patina. Small chips and cracks.
In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba, in Katanga and Kasaï. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals. The masked performances of male masks provided an opportunity to carry out punitive expeditions and ...


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280.00  224.00

Makonde Fetish
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African art > The fetish, this emblematic object of primitive art > Makonde Fetish

African Art Makonde.
Fetish horn from which emerges a sculpted head evoking lipoko and lipico masks. Huge ears frame the realism of expressive features. What takes the place of a bust is wrapped in woven fibers, twisted copper wires, and finally animal skin. The whole is coated with a black patina. Height on base: 51 cm.

The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Besides the face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that educate young people about the demands of marriage and family life. the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust. For the Makonde, ...


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280.00  224.00

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

The Baoulé in African art.
This entertaining African mask is surmounted by braids gathered in shells like a tiara. The eyelids are coated with white pigments. The face is bordered by a trim with geometric patterns and extended by an outgrowth evoking a beard. Traditional raised scars are called ngole. . Object carved in dense wood. Brown, black and reddish brown patina, kaolin highlights.

Baoulé masks correspond to three types of dance: the gba gba, for the funeral of women, the bonu amuen for the commemoration of the dead of notables and the goli for various events. These masks which do not represent ancestors but sometimes young teenagers are worn by men. It is in order to reconcile the favors of the "amwin" spirits, providers of prosperity, health or even security, ...


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280.00  224.00

Makonde mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Makonde mask

African face mask Makonde associated with an ancestral spirit. This sculpture is characterized by a deeply sunken look highlighting the relief of the cheekbones and the ears placed in height. The hairstyle forms a double crest. A labret deforms the upper lip. Dark satin patina.
Height on base: 37 cm.

The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Besides the face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that educate young people about the demands of marriage and family life. the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust. For the Makonde, the ancestors would return ...


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290.00  232.00

Figure Luba
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Figure Luba

This type of female African figure, among the Luba, was often linked to fecundity and fertility rituals. The posture would further indicate that the secrets of royalty, bizila, belong to the women at the Luba court through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. The female figurative subjects would represent for the Lubas the wife of the diviner, hence its importance in the process of bilumbu divination. According to some Lubas, however, although a woman, she would represent the first Luba diviner, and would also be an allegory of royalty linked to the powerful Mbudye society associated with royal power. ("Luba" Roberts.) Beautiful satin patina, erosions and gaps.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely ...


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240.00  192.00

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

African puppet emblematic of the Kouyou type, intended for the dance kibe-kibe, or Ebokita (S.Diakonoff) this sculpture refers to the ancestor mythical Oso. The face bears scarified patterns, and the mouth reveals sharp teeth.
Polychrome satin patina. Erosions and cracks.
Formerly, the Kouyou were divided into two totemic clans: in the West that of the panther, and in the East that of the snake. A secret men's association, Ottoté, played an important political role in the appointment of chiefs. The initiation of young people ended with the revelation of the serpent god Ebongo represented in the form of a head. The Kibe-kibe or Kebekebe dances, which accompanied the ceremony, reactivated the successive stages of creation. The panther clan had a drum as their emblem. ...


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290.00  232.00

Sanza Luba
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African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Sanza Luba

Widespread in Central Africa, this musical instrument or sanza surmounted by a figure provides a sound box with metal slats. The thumbs of both hands will rest on the soundboard to vibrate the front ends of the tongues. Grainy brown patina, abrasions and desication cracks.
Height on base: 45 cm.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus the name (Baluba, which means “the Lubas”). The Luba have two types of figures: the mikisi mihasi , embodying deceased relatives or spirits, and the mikisi mihake , sculptures dedicated to containing a magic charge, in the head or abdomen, in order to solve a problem. The Shankadi belong to the luba group, and have the same associations and ...


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Kusu rattle
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African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Kusu rattle

Ex-Luxembourg African art collection.
Sculpted object used by soothsayers, whose anthropomorphic motif recalls the nkisi fetishes of the Songye. Golden brown satin patina, cracks.
The Kusu established on the left bank of the Lualaba have borrowed the artistic traditions of the Luba and the Hemba and have a caste system similar to that Luba . In this region, between the Bembe, Boyo, Hemba, Songye and Tetela, ritual objects were subject to stylistic exchanges and influences. We note here a similarity with Songye fetishes. The singiti statues were kept by the fumu mwalo and honored during ceremonies during which sacrifices were offered to them. Alongside the authority of the hereditary chiefs, secret societies, masculine such as the bukazanzi, and feminine, the bukibilo, ...


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

A softened version of the Mukinka mask of the Salampasu, this two-tone mask linked to the society of warriors was exhibited at funerals in connection with the previous initiations of the deceased. He also participated in the initiation rites. Some of these masks were so feared that their name alone scared away women and children. Matte patina.
Living from hunting and agriculture, warrior people, the Salampasu form a tribe of the Lulua group and are settled between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Angola, east of the Kasai River. They are surrounded to the west and south by the Tschokwe and the Lunda, and to the north and east by the Kete and the Lwalwa. A hierarchy of masks, simple wooden kasangu masks and copper-covered mukinka masks, was associated with the society of ...


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240.00  192.00

Biga doll
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African art > African Dolls > Biga doll

This schematized anthropomorphic figure, whose appearance of the head varies according to the regions, represents a spirit with which a relationship is established. The columnar bust bears sagging breasts, an attribute of fertility and a symbol of maternity. The stylized head evokes the female crest hairstyle, with a braid falling in front of the face for young girls, the parallel patterns the scarifications.
Glossy patina of use.
Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is made up of the descendants of the invaders, horsemen who came from Ghana in the 15th century, named Nakomse, and the Tengabibisi, descendants natives. Political power is in the hands of the Nakomsé, who assert their power through statues, while the priests and religious leaders are from the ...


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190.00  152.00

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

African mask circular and shallow, sporting ample bleached orbits in the center of a face streaked with linear scarifications. The animal fur goatee and exposed teeth evoke an unpredictable character. A textile and raffia hood is attached to the top of the mask. Velvety two-tone patina.
In the north-west of Zaire, south of Oubangui, on the banks of the Lualaba, live the 120,000 Ngombe of the Bantu language, led by a chief and a warrior society Elombe. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka whose statuary has had an influence on their tribal sculpture, and various banda groups. Their geometric-looking masks, the uses of which are poorly documented, would occur during the rites of the mani society. They also produce protective hunting fetishes and prestige objects ...


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290.00  232.00

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

Ibeji, substitute images in African art.
Traditionally carved from iroko, the roots and leaves of which are also used for ritual purposes, this twin 'ere' (statue) figure wears metal adornments. Semi-satin mahogany patina. Desication crack.
In the language of the Yoruba people, ibeji means twin: ibi for born and eji for two. They represent the figure of a deceased twin. Thisibedji is then treated as the missing child would have been. It is the mother who must take care of him; she can wash and feed him regularly. If she dies, the remaining twin takes over. It also happened that a man had ibeji carved for his wife in order to induce pregnancy. Support for the soul of the twin, the ibeji influences the life of the family, becoming a source of benefits for his parents, the ...


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Teke mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Teke mask

The pictograms of the African masks Téké of Gabon insist on oppositions symbolizing the duality in the universe: their surface is embellished with geometric patterns painted with polychrome pigments. In addition to lunar symbolism, these pictograms refer to regional body scarifications. It is a plank mask that the wearer held between the teeth using a braided ribbon. The perforations were used to attach feathers and fibers which perfected the harmony of the costume. Only the Tsaayi, among the Téké subgroups of Gabon, produced wooden masks from the mid-20th century. They were used by members of the secret male kidumu brotherhood (kidumu is the name of the society, the dance, and the mask), at the funerals of village notables or at weddings and other important ceremonies. They appear more ...


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

Among the prestige objects of the Kuba clans, the cup intended for drinking palm wine was meticulously engraved with geometric decorative motifs borrowed from scarifications, which were also used on the shoowa raffia textiles. Different forms of cups were carved whose ornamentation sought to glorify the qualities of their owners. Object carved within the Mushenge school. Orange-brown patina. Excellent condition.

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. The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the high ...


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Nyamwezi Figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Nyamwezi Figure

Statuette offering an inclined female bust, which the arms enclose, and disproportionate legs. The amplitude of the ears stands out alongside the blind face. This type of statue, among the wide variety of tribal production in this region, participated in the worship of ancestors, and some played a role in traditional dowsing activities. Black greasy patina, grainy residue. Abrasions, tiny lacks. br> The Nyamwézi are made up of tribes of diverse origins making up the largest group in central Tanzania, yet sharing the same cultural traits. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their Unyamwézi territory. They were therefore led to travel from the Congo (R.D.C.) to the coastal cities of the Indian Ocean, where they were called "Nyamwézi", "men of the ...


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

Bwami initiation mask, indicating the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality. Relatively large, this mask bears a chipped gray patina, revealing in places patterns evoking the scarifications in use.
Losses, abrasions.
Within the Léga established on the west bank of the Lualaba River, in the DRC, 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. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women cultivate cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, ...


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180.00  144.00

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

The different types of Luluwa, Lulua, or Béna Lulua statues, with multiple scarifications, glorify local chiefs, motherhood, fertility and the female figure. Female figures of this type belong to the Buanga bua cibola cult, and are supposed, according to the Lulua, to protect children and pregnant women. Indeed, by the position of the hands, this figure highlights a prominent abdomen, center of the body and "object of all solicitude" (The Power of the Sacred, M. Faïk-Nzuji ) Golden brown patina. Desication cracks. It is in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo that the Lulua, or Béna Lulua, from West Africa settled. . Their social structure, based on caste, is similar to that of the Luba. They produced few masks, but mostly statuettes of ancestors representing the ideal warrior, ...


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280.00  224.00

Hemba Zither
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African art > Tam Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Hemba Zither

This musical instrument without its strings is sculpted with heads associated with "singiti" ancestors. The board forming a sound box is very slightly curved. Satin patina of use, abrasions and desication cracks.
The Hemba have long been subject to the neighboring Luba empire, which has had a certain influence on their culture, their religion and their art. Genealogy is the guarantor of privileges and the distribution of land. All aspects of the community are imbued with the authority of the ancestors. They are considered to have an influence on justice, medicine, law and sacrifices. Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of ancestors singiti, embodying chiefs, local warriors, or lineage ancestors whom they venerate in order to appease the ...


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Warka mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Warka mask

Carved in dense wood, this mask with an ample crest crest is extended by a face with a long rectangular nose. Unusual, long horsehair eyelashes veil the look. The reduced mouth forms a slight pout in the tip of the chin. Decorative metal elements are one of the specificities of marka sculptures. Grainy matte patina, golden brown.
In African art, the Marka , Maraka in Bamana, Warka, or Sarakolé, are Muslim city dwellers of Soninke origin, established in southern Niger, scattered since the end of the Ghana Empire in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal . They now speak Bamana and have adopted many of the Bambara traditions, such as the Ntomo and the Koré, initiation societies that used masks during their ceremonies. The Bambara and Marka African art sculptors are part of the ...


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390.00  312.00

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

The spectacular elongation of the bust here forms like a stick supported by curved lower limbs. The head, for its part, refers to the masks of the style qualified as guro-bete for lack of reliable information. The central part, cleared up, would indicate a frequent prehension. Satin garnet black patina.
of the Baoulé. Their respective sculptures, by their morphology, bear witness to their close relationship. Priest and diviner share the predominant ritual functions among the Guro. Secret associations worship the geniuses of nature, through the masks in which the spirits are supposed to reside. Their protective spirits called zuzu were worshiped through statues placed on altars. The Bété form a tribe established on the left bank of the Sassandra River in the south-west of the Ivory ...


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390.00  312.00





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