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 mask > Boa basket
Rare set consisting of a basket on which are fixed a sculpted mask embellished with small bones and cowries.
For the Boa, it would be a ritual altar for protection.
Erosions, lacks. br />
Flanked by pierced lobes like the ear flaps of the Boa of the east, the "bavobongo", and a mouth lined with sparse teeth, this African mask gave an impressive appearance to its wearer, accentuated by the contrast of colors.
Supposed to render invulnerable and with the aim of terrifying the enemy, the African mask kpongadomba or "Pongdudu" of the Boa was ordered by the chief kumu who offered it to the bravest warrior. It was then kept in his wife's hut.
Close to the Mangbetu and the Zande, the Boa inhabit the savannah in the north of Democratic Republic of Congo. Some Boa ...
Tribal art > African mask > Mumuye head
This sculpture formed the top of a mumuye vertical crest mask. Masks of this nature, associated with agrarian ceremonies to promote harvests, health, and human fertility, were used by neighboring groups, Wurkun/Bikwin, Mumuye, and Jukun, established in the middle Benoué. The wearer of the mask was presumably balancing it on his head. br />
The face is topped with a crest evoking the hairstyles of the group. Elements are enhanced with polychrome pigments, and patterns associated with the scarifications in use are inscribed on the surface.
Satin patina, abrasions and erosions.
The 100,000 Adamawa language speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola, divided into two groups: those of fire ( tjokwa ) relating to blood and the color ...
Tribal art > Djembe TamTam > Doko Drum
Rare drum with Ngombe handle, in the shape of a barrel, established on feet resuming in miniature the stylized anthropomorphic morphology of the pipes in use in the group. It is decorated with coins from the 1930s, arranged in vertical lines, with regularity, on the sides.
The object shows obvious signs of use.
The relatively limited artistic production of the Ngombe, Doko, or Likungu has been marked by the influence of neighboring groups, Ngbandi and Ngbaka. Their sculptures, mostly magical fetishes, would be used by the bendo soothsayer to aid hunting.
The Ngombe migrated from Lake Victoria in East Africa. After dispersing, some of them settled among the Ngala on the banks of the Zaire River.
Ref. : "100 people of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Félix.
Tribal art > Usual african items > Awale Mangbetu
Ex-collection Belgian African tribal art.
Creus of 28 alveoli, this awale game is part of the mancalas family of games. The foot is altered. The figurative motifs, in the form of carved heads, obey the stylistic canonical mangbetu and zande. Clear patina, slightly abraded. Small cracks. Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, between Bomokandi and the River Uele, the Mangbetu kingdom was expressed through architectural works that fascinated European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments, pottery 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 dubbed The cannibal king. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described ...
Tribal art > African Maternity > Fipa statue
African motherhood depicting a character carrying a child. The eyes are encrusted with pearls while large ears frame a neutral countenance. Rough patina, residual ocher encrustations.
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.
Lit. : "Black African Tribal Art" J.B. Bacquart.
Tribal art > Usual african items > Hemba Calabash
These sculptures bankishi (sing. nkishi ) were used within the framework of the bugabo , a society dedicated to hunting, healing and war. A male figure referring to the ancestors springs from a calabash around which is wrapped a cord accessorized with feathers and dried fruit. The object rattles when shaken. Dark patina.
Height with base: 27 cm.
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. Ancestor worship is central to Hemba society.
Mastering sculpture with talent, the Hemba have mainly produced statues of singiti ancestors, embodying chiefs, local warriors, or lineage ancestors whom they venerate in order to appease the spirits mizimus . A wide variety of ...
Tribal art > African mask > Ti wara crest
The Ti-wara in African art.
"Antelope" mask with balanced concentrated proportions, very soberly embellished with friezes engraved on the forehead. Traces of kaolin, smooth, satin patina, medium brown.
It would be an animal - genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. The latter recall the myth through the stylized representation of an antelope, whose name ci wara means "wild of the earth. Carried at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, an association dedicated to agricultural work.
The masks traversed the field while leaping in order to drive out from this one the nyama, malefic emanations, and to detect any danger, or to flush out ...
Tribal art > African Statues > Lobi figure
Female statuette whose tip of the chin rests on the bust. The oval head offers large, flat strokes. The straight back reveals an arched buttocks and a slightly protruding abdomen on which the hands rest. The joined, stocky legs disappear into a circular base.
The vigorous size, clearing the main planes, is representative of Lobi sculpture.
Matte patina imprinted with probably libation residues.
This Bateba figure is supposed to embody a spirit of the bush, the Thil, and thus become an intermediary in the fight against sorcerers and all other evil forces.
These spirits are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called Bateba (large or small, figurative or abstract, they adopt different attitudes that symbolize the particular power or talent that the ...
Tribal art > African mask > Pende mask
Symbolizing the wild buffalo, the African mask panya ngombe adopts a stretched, stylized form.
The ears, framing long horizontal eyelids, spring out in a point towards the outer corners, conferring a dynamic. The contours are indented with decorative diamond patterns. Copies larger than required by the tribal canon were intended to be hung in the chief's hut, and logically did not present any internal signs of use. Matte black patina.
Height on base: 31 cm.
The western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the eastern people have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba and Salempasu imprinted on their large tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity, the Mbuya masks, realistic, ...
Tribal art > African fetish > Statue Teke
This clan ancestor figure is brought in to contain the mystical charge called Bonga. It was then wrapped in a textile that was to hold the load in its receptacle. The face is streaked with traditional scarifications. The clan leader had this type of sculpture adorning an altar. Brilliant cracked patina. Desication cracks.
Andeblis between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Téké were organized into chiefdoms whose leader was often chosen from among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right to life or death over his family, whose importance determined his prestige. The clan leader, ngantsed , kept the great protective fetish tring hated who oversaw all the ceremonies. It was the mighty sorcerer and soothsayer who charged magical elements, for ...
Tribal art > Commander stick > Holo Staff
Sculpted with two superimposed heads, separated by prisms engraved with linear patterns, this prestige holo stick is coated with a nuanced, shiny brown patina.
In the Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and agriculture ensure their subsistence. The neighboring ethnic groups, such as the Suku and Yaka, have influenced their traditional sculptures. The Holo indeed produced helmet masks and prestige items for the ruling elite.
The Holo used sculptures to guard against the influence of evil spirits, including that of the moon and the rainbow. These statues were placed near dwellings as protection against lightning. Besides the royal biombo figures, ...
Tribal art > African mask > Lega mask
Ovoid mask in which a heart-shaped face is inscribed, in which the almond-shaped eyelids adjoin a straight nose. Velvety patina of use, old residues of kaolin.
This carving indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, and joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. Nice abraded, matte patina of use.
Within the Lega, 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 seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega , these individuals live in self-contained ...
Tribal art > African fetish > Songye figure
African fetish Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) of the Songye whose face reproduces the mask of the kifwebe. Meticulously made, the sculpture meets the criteria associated with this type of object, the accessories being supposed to reinforce its effectiveness.
Shiny patina, grainy agglomerates, ocher residues.
These fetishes of protection against various evils would play the role of mediator between god and men. The large sculptures are the collective property of an entire village, and the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.
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 which they are ...
Tribal art > Door shutter > Bwa door
Door made up of three panels to which horizontal slats are nailed. The central motif represented is the African mask of the Bwa symbolizing the hornbill or nwo bird.
Saurian figures, also sculpted in low relief, refer to the spirits of nature.
The dark patina was usually obtained from charcoal and gum tree pods.
Desication cracks, erosions.
A population established on both sides of the Black Volta in Burkina Faso and Mali, the Bwa are divided into three endogamous castes: blacksmiths, griots and farmers. The Bwa believe in a god Difini creator of the world, who later abandoned it to his son Do. Do, whose emblem is an iron rhomb named alive, is supposed to intervene during funerals and agrarian rites. The sheet masks are made by the villagers, only the Bwa of the South, the ...
View details Bwa door
Tribal art > African Statues > Galoa Reliquary
This sculpted bust, altered by time and insects, adopts a face with the features of the judicial mask of Okukwé society, worn on the occasion of funerals, the birth of twins, or other major events.
Glossy patina, cracks and losses.
The Galoa (or Galwa), a Pounou subgroup, live downstream from Lambarene on the Ogooué River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. They are called "people of the lake". They also produced masks called Okouyi, Okukwé, used by initiatory societies to reveal witchcraft and their authors through divination.
Several neighboring ethnic groups, including the Adouma and the Kota, use flat areas of contrasting colors in Gabon, including kaolin supposed to have apotropaic properties.
The groups of Gabon practice the worship of the bwiti, worship of the ancestors, ...
Tribal art > African mask > Gouro mask
Heavy African mask with a vertical ridge on the forehead. This is a striking feature of statuary from the area between the Guro and the Bétés. The braided hairstyle is neatly represented by parallel streaks. This mask, whose function remains poorly documented, would symbolize masculine strength, and perhaps also a powerful notable named "migone". Glossy dark patina, cracks and abrasions.
The Bété form a tribe established on the left bank of the Sassandra River in the south-west of the Ivory Coast. Close to the Kouya and the Niabwa, the making of their masks, as well as their function, have great similarities.
"Guro" ed. 5Continents.