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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

The prices

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.

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Latest tribal artworks

Lega Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Lega Mask

This mask cut in a round volume is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This is open to both men and women. The passage of a grade indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality.
Satin patina, kaolin residue. erosions. Height on base: 37 cm.
Within the Léga, 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 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Social recognition and authority had to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, the ...


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490.00

Sango Reliquary
Tribal art > African Reliquary > Sango Reliquary

Unlike the relatively flat kota ancestor sculptures, this partially metal clad statue bears a large head with a prominent forehead, framed by cylindrical ears. The eroded part is supported by a metal base.
This ritual sculpture, plated with metal sheets according to the kota tradition, forms a stylized image of the ancestor, a coat of arms also for the clan, and is generally distinguished by the shape of the headdress, which varies according to the region. The Kota inhabit the eastern part of Gabon, which is rich in iron ore, and some in the Republic of Congo. The blacksmith, in addition to wood carving, made tools for agricultural work as well as ritual weapons. The sculptures playing the role of "medium" between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were ...


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650.00

Yoruba Scepter
Tribal art > African Rider > Yoruba Scepter

A figure of a horseman, sculpted in the round, surmounts the Yoruba Sango-type staff. It glorifies a deified ancestor. The equine, rare in the region, was also an attribute of prestige which was reserved for the nobility and the sovereigns. Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion is based on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by the sculptors at the request of the followers, soothsayers and their clients. These spirits are supposed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare. Chipped polychromy, semi-satin patina.
Height on base: 74 cm.
The Yoruba, more than 20 million, occupy southwestern Nigeria and the central and southeastern region of Benin under the name of Nago. They are patrilineal, practice excision and ...


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390.00

Yaka Fly swatter
Tribal art > fly flap > Yaka Fly swatter

A prestigious object, this fly swatter features a finely chiseled "yiteke" miniature acting as a talisman. The figure is extended by a handle on which a cord is tied, attaching the horsehair and the fur constituting the whip. Glossy brown patina.

Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that results from it are the occasion nowadays, for the Yaka, to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using charms. The society of initiation of young people is the n-khanda, found among the eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc.), and which uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. The artistic productions of the ...


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290.00

OviMbundu Statue
Tribal art > African Statues > OviMbundu Statue

African sculpture of a young OviMbundu woman generally devoted to the female initiation rituals of young nyaneka girls following the efuko ritual, in connection with fertility or divination. Brown satin patina, desication cracks, alterations.
It is on the Benguela plateau in Angola that the Ovimbudu, Ovimbundu, have been established for several centuries, made up of farmers and breeders. Forming the largest ethnic group in Angola, they belong to Bantu speakers, such as Nyaneka, Handa, Nkhumbi, and other groups from the region of Huila, or Wila. Their statuary made in light wood is relatively restrained.

Ref. : "Black African tribal art" ed. Assouline; "Treasures of Africa" Museum of Tervuren.


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390.00

Dogon mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Among the range of African masks listed among the Dogon, this example of classical geometric structure is extended in height by a flat protuberance. Beautiful patina of grainy and abraded use. Desication cracks.
The Dogon people are renowned in African tribal art for the myths and beliefs relating to their cosmogony.
Its population is estimated at around 300,000 souls living in the southwest of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (north- west of Ouahigouya). The most famous of their masks are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of them are used by circumcised initiates of the Awa society, during funeral ceremonies. Some represent animals, in reference to the rich mythology of African Dogon art. ...


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680.00

Baga mask
Tribal art > African mask > Baga mask

Spectacular African mask used for protective purposes, it was once used by initiates of male secret societies during their initiation rites and their funerals. He was also supposed to protect circumcised young people from evil influences. This mask dances by imitating all the attitudes of the animals represented. Powerful mask, hybrid of snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, intended to communicate with the spirits of the forest, it was worn obliquely on the head. Locally abraded matte polychromy. Abrasions, cracks, slight lacks.
Mixed with the Nalu and the Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year . They believe in a creator god called Nagu , Naku , whom they do not represent, and who is accompanied by a male ...


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1850.00

Chokwe statue
Tribal art > African Statues > Chokwe statue

Sculpted with mastery, this work glorifies the ancestor and mythical hero founder of the ethnic group, Chibinda Ilunga. The chief, with oversized palms and feet, has an impressive noble headdress. Easily recognizable thanks to this ample headdress with curved side fins (cipenya-mutwe), a wicker frame covered with fabric, brass, leather, and beads, he had taught his people the art of hunting.
The dignitaries presented themselves cross-legged in a suit, which is confirmed by an African proverb: "The elder sitting cross-legged wishes to be greeted with respect" By alluding to the circle of his crossed legs, the chief conveys the blessings of a full orbit life." ("The Kongo gesture", ed. Dapper Museum)
The leader claps his hands as a sign of welcome and to signify his interest ...


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675.00

Zigua figure
Tribal art > African Statues > Zigua figure

African statuette depicting a small figure in a frontal, straight posture, swaddled in textile then coated with dark crusty materials.
Among the Zigua, this type of sculpture served as a support for initiation. The Sukuma of northern Tanzania use similar figures.
This piece of tribal art comes from the northeastern region of Tanzania, bordering Kenya, facing the Indian Ocean, where the Paré, Shamba, Zigua, and Mbugu tribes live. A relative homogeneity characterizes the productions of these groups, recalling some of the Madagascans and Bataks with whom, via maritime trade, contact could once have been established. This sculpture was probably used for didactic purposes during male initiations. She could also embody an ancestor or a spirit.


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390.00

Nyamwezi mask
Tribal art > African mask > Nyamwezi mask

Carved in dense wood, the features of this mask compose a neutral yet powerful physiognomy accentuated by the contrast of colors. Heavy white-coated eyelids draw attention to protruding cheeks and a projecting mouth. Polychrome patina.
The Luo, Kuria, Haya and Ziba, the Kéréwé, Karagwé, Sukuma and Nyamézi are settled in the west central and central region of Tanzania. The Nyamwezi, Nyamézi,("western people" and sometimes "moon people ") form the largest group among the tribes living in north central Tanzania. Coming from diverse origins, although sharing the same cultural specificities, their ritual and artistic production consequently presents very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, marked their statuary.


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380.00

Dan Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dan Mask

Ex-collection of African art Mercier.
Among the most emblematic African masks, this mask from the Ivory Coast stood out among the eleven types of dan masks (Fisher and Himmelheber) thanks to its hollowed-out eyes. circular to allow better vision. These masks called gunye ge "racing masks", with an oval face and a slightly concave center, were produced among the northern Dan and intended to participate in racing events. The zapkei intervene to prevent the spread of domestic fires during dry seasons. Armed with a wand, they threaten reckless women and confiscate an object as a fine.
Height on base: 37 cm.
An entertainment mask for the populations of Dan farmers in the north-west of Côte d'Ivoire, known as Yacouba, he is also sometimes found as a messenger at the time ...


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650.00

Tschokwe Jar
Tribal art > African Jar > Tschokwe Jar


Among the African regalia, this prestigious object invokes the protection of the spirits of the ancestors thanks to the figures carved in high relief. Supported by a crocodile, a deep lidded vessel is surmounted by figures seated back to back. Brown patina rubbed with kaolin. Slight desication cracks. erosions.
The Tschokwe, of Bantu culture, had settled in eastern Angola, but also in Congo and Zambia. Following various alliances, they mixed with the Lunda who taught them hunting. Their social organization also rubbed off on Tschokwe society. The Tschokwe however ended up dominating over the Lunda whose kingdom was dismantled at the end of the 19th century. Elephants in the region were hunted for meat, but also for ivory which was for sale and not the wide range of prestige ...


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480.00

Hopi Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Hopi Mask

Ex-French American art collection.
Witnesses to the traditions of the Hopi Indian peoples of Arizona, the sculpted Katsinam objects (song. Kachina) are expressed during traditional dances accompanying the annual festivals in favor of the rain. This Hopi-type mask, flanked by surprising ears and a protruding "beak", is notched with rectangular pupils underlined in black. The hues would indicate the nature of the spirit represented. The patina is matte, velvety, abrasions and small accidents.


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780.00

Baoule Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Baoule Mask

African mask of "reduced size, intended for entertainment ceremonies and which can therefore, according to the Baule tradition, be seen by women. The streaks of the hairstyle represent braids, the traditional scarifications called "ngole" underline traits. Chipped matte patina.
Height on base: 36 cm.
These portrait masks of the Baoulé, Kpwan, which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity of appearing at the end of entertainment dance ceremonies. These are named, according to the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc.... Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc... Also called Gbagba, they personify graceful young girls ...


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380.00

Okua Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Okua Mask

Bokyi and Idoma designed this same type of bleached masks, enhanced with scarifications, appearing during specific funeral rites. This version with altered contours presents a broad face with a rounded forehead, whose open mouth reveals sharp teeth. Colored highlights accentuate the contrasts. Thick velvety patina locally chipped.
Height on base: 37 cm.
The Idoma settled at the confluence of the Bénué and the Niger. Numbering 500,000, they are made up of farmers and traders. The neighborhood and therefore the influences of the Igbo, those of the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups have generated stylistic borrowings, and great tribal similarities. Royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, wear masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They ...


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680.00

Baga Drum
Tribal art > Djembe TamTam > Baga Drum

The Baga live along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea, in West Africa. They are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, and have lived relatively isolated from their neighbors due to the vast swamps that surround them. They did, however, leave a vast artistic legacy, which includes crests, figurative sculptures, masks, and objects of daily use such as musical instruments. This drum called timba , and matimbo in neighboring groups, was played during initiation ceremonies for members of the A-Tekan , on the occasion of the funerals of its members or even for the marriage of their daughters. It is by its size that this drum is distinguished from other drums used in the A-Tekan, which requires its user to remain standing to play the instrument. He also ...


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2450.00

Baga Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Baga Mask

Reduced version of the large shoulder mask it features a classic decoration of upholstery nails highlighting the reliefs of the sculpture. This type of mask wandered on a pole, the porters hidden under raffia fibers or under fabrics. Beautiful patina of use.
Mêlés aux Nalu and Landuman , the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku, which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they have created a powerful mask, hybrid snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, with the aim of communicating with the spirits of the forest. The face of the Baga Nimba mask is characterized by a buzzed nose evoking a bird's beak, ...


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950.00

Yoruba Tablet
Tribal art > Usual african items > Yoruba Tablet

Support of the ritualist named babalawo (or Babalao, or Babaal-wo, pronounced Baba-a-l'wo), priest of Ifa, in the Yoruba language, these trays exist in three forms. They are intended for ifa, a system of divination that represents the teachings of the orisha Orunmila, orisha of Wisdom. The babalawo claim to be securing the future through their communication with Orunmila. In Yoruba thought in Nigeria, orishas form a variety of divine spirits controlling natural forces. They are found mainly in Yoruba cosmogony but more widely in East West Africa in the diasporas of Central and South America. This tablet was used in Abomey, among the Yorubas of Benin.The center of the plateau, aarin opon , forms a picture in which the dust of wood allows the priest-soothsayer to trace the solutions to his ...


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490.00



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