Tribal art expertise at your service
Each work presented on this site of tribal art comes from private European and American collections. All of them have been meticulously appraised, and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, and are worthy of inclusion in the most beautiful collections of African art.
A permanent exhibition
Launched on June 1, 2019, the permanent exhibition "When the primitive arts express themselves" welcomes you from Monday to Saturday in the premises of Essentiel Galerie, to allow you to physically discover a wide variety of objects, regularly renewed. Do not hesitate to come and visit it at 73 rue de Tournai 7333 Tertre in Belgium. Phone: +32 65 529 100
Our knowledge of the tribal art market, based on 35 years of experience, has led us to make it a point of honor to always be the most competitive. We can thus, guarantee you the best prices.
Tribal art > African Maternity > Senoufo statuette
The face is imbued with solemnity for this female figure with a neck and tubular limbs, as if frozen in a seated posture, supporting with her clasped hands the child clinging to her back.
This piece was probably dedicated to a family liturgical practice, in relation to fertility. Thick blackish patina, residual crusty deposits. One foot is missing.
The Senoufo, the name given to them by the French colonists, are mainly composed of farmers who are scattered between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer Senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo. Each has its own Poro association that initiates young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles ...
Tribal art > African mask > Bamana mask
This African Bambara mask is topped by a stylized crest. The eyes, framed by circular ears, are set under a bulbous forehead decorated with fine scarified patterns, while an imposing busted nose dominates narrow prominent lips.
The smooth, lustrous patina is adjacent to residues encrusted with light pigments.
Native restoration at the top.
The Bambara , Bamana , are found in central and southern Mali. The name means "unbeliever" and was given to them by the Muslims. They belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they also believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes.
His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, master of the Word, who gave ...
Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon statue
This traditional African art sculpture, a wooden form from which elements of a couple emerge, was placed on the family altar Tiré Kabou. African tribal statues of the Dogon 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.
Influenced stylistically by the Tellem (or "those who were before" in the Dogon language) whom they replaced in the Bandiagara region from the 15th century, the Dogon adopted a similar vertical position in their statuary.
Inheritors of the works such asm abandoned in the ...
Tribal art > African mask > Baga mask
Rare sculpture formed by a composite assembly of removable characters, embedded in a wrought case. The sides of the latter, flanked by a cheerful hare's head as a "figurehead", are artistically decorated with decorative motifs. Female figures, Muslims, characters perched on a motorcycle, and bird figures are cheerfully displayed on the platform surrounded by crenellated borders. The whole, a variant of the bird mask still appearing today, was generally made of cheese wood. Polychrome matt patina.
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in swampy areas that are flooded six months a year. These Baga groups, who live on the coast and live from rice cultivation, are made up of seven sub-groups, including the Baga Kalum, Bulongic, Baga Sitem, Baga ...
Tribal art > African fetish > Biga doll
Anthropomorphic figure in bronze evoking a young Mossi woman. A ritual statuette supposed to help in conception, it was made in metal by the Mossi blacksmith, who was also in charge of the carved wooden examples.
The use of dolls by young African women is not exclusively within the context of initiation. When menstruation appears, the young girl is considered as a potential mother. In many ethnic groups, the search for fertility is then done through initiation rites. Wooden figures are then carved, some reflecting both genders, often dressed in beads and clothes. During the period of seclusion, the doll, which becomes a child that requires daily feeding, washing and anointing, becomes the girl's only companion. After the initiation, they will be carried on the back of the women, or ...
Tribal art > African Statues > Statues Chamba
Emblems of male associations, these narrow figures that a common base connects stand vertically. The diamond-shaped arms envelop a tubular bust surmounted by short crenellated legs. The neck rises towards a head with prominent features, wearing a rounded crest like a helmet. The crest is extended by braids that frame the face.
Granular black patina, locally flaked.
Better known for their buffalo masks, the Chamba communicated with the spirit world through these statues. However, their functions remain little known.
Settled since the seventeenth century on the southern bank of the Benue River in Nigeria, coming from the mountainous regions of the Cameroonian borders, the Chamba resisted the conquest attempts of the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern ...
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Jukun
It is during funerals, agricultural festivals or in case of danger that this type of carved figures are exposed in the north of the Benoue river. Their role is that of mediator between the afterlife and the priest. The flat, rectangular head appears to be wearing a helmet with distended ears and pupils that form the only projection of the face. The hands rest on the hips in a circular plateau, while part of the legs are eroded. Dark patina, residue
clayey. Abrasions and desiccation cracks.
The Jukuns are a West and Central African population living mainly in Nigeria in the upper Benue Valley, also in north-west Cameroon. With the expansion of the former Jukun Empire, the Jukun or Wurbo of Nigeria have scattered into two groups: one settled south of the Donga River, ...
Tribal art > African mask > Idoma mask
This rare example of the African Okua mask associated with funerary rites has thin walls for contours. Under the incision of the eyes, the cheekbones are hollowed out. The fine lines, highlighted with black and red pigments, are enhanced by the visibly old kaolin patina. The numerous perforations of the contours show irregular formats.
Erosion of the contours.
The Idoma settled at the confluence of the Benue and Niger rivers. Numbering 500,000, they were farmers and traders. The neighborhood and therefore the influences of the Igbo, the ethnic groups of the Cross River and Igala have generated stylistic borrowings and great tribal similarities.
The royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, use masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They also ...
Tribal art > African Jar > Jarre Mangbetu
Named the generous in African art, these urns are intended to collect palm wine. This double jar with handles has cephalomorphic necks arranged face to face. Golden brown nuanced oiled patina.
asebli 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 nicknamed " 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 ...
Tribal art > African mask > Fang Mask
In the category of the very large masks of Africa, the fang masks, generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), intervened in the middle of the night, their appearance arousing fright. They were used by the male society ngil which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft.
The ngil consisted of a purifying fire rite symbolized by the gorilla.
Matte and velvety patina, golden. Fingerprints of xylophagous animals now eradicated.
The Fang, formerly called Pahouin, are divided into several subsets in three countries, Cameroon, Gabon, and the mainland of Equatorial Guinea. Mainly hunters, they also practice agriculture.
The wearers of these masks, always in large numbers, made ...
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Chamba
Better known for their buffalo masks, worn horizontally, forming here the head of this sculpture, the Chambas communicated with the spirit world through statues. However, their functions remain little known.
This protective figure has arms bent forward, and fingers spread out like palms. The legs, spread out in the extension of the hands, impart a particular dynamic. Crusty brown patina with reddish reflections. Cracks of desiccation, missing on one foot.
Settled since the seventeenth century on the southern bank of the Benue River in Nigeria, coming from the mountainous regions of the Cameroonian borders,
The Chamba resisted the attempts to conquer the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern Nigeria. They are known for their famous buffalo mask with its ...
Tribal art > African mask > Songye Mask
This large African Songye mask, the kikashi, embodies a positive force. The half-closed palpebral slits are stretched toward the temples, the nose and mouth protruding rectangularly. The naso-frontal crest blends harmoniously with the forehead. Large circular bands are engraved on the surface. Chipped matte patina. Equipped with its raffia suit ( 100 cm) embroidered with seeds, extended on the back with a bunch of feathers.
Three variants of this mask Kifwebe ( pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death"(Roberts),from the society of the same name, are distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, still used today, seems to come from the ...
Tribal art > African mask > Igbo Mask
Endowed with a morphology with both feminine and masculine characters, this statue is erected on a base overhanging a calotte mask. The semi-flexed legs, however, evoke the tribal dance mbombo of the young girls during the Ogbom ceremonies, held before the altar at the close of the periods of seclusion. This danced ritual was dedicated to the deity of the earth named Ala among the Igbo, and Isong among the Ibibio . The crest masks were then kept near the chimney flues of the huts in order to be protected from insects. Thick cracked patina, colored highlights, localized abrasions. Old break on the nose and cracks.
The Eket , established in southeastern Nigeria, are a subgroup of the Ibibio ethnic group renowned for their expressive masks. They are a patrilineal society whose ...