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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

Fang of the Byeri Reliquary Head
Tribal art > African Statues > Head Fang

African art and funerary rites
A head with inlaid pupils, offering a heart-shaped face under a wide forehead, a rectangular mouth projecting forward, and a helmet-like headdress are some of the characteristics of the Ntumu style. This type of sculpture fulfilled the same function as the byeri statuettes. Dark oiled patina, eroded wood.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are kept. These boxes were kept 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 meant to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the ...


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490.00

Fetish statue Nkisi Vili
Tribal art > African fetish > Vili Fetish

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Consecrated by the nganga, endowed with a magic charge (bilongo) housed in a box closed by a mirror, this statuette meets the criteria of nksi objects. The Vili produced a variety of sculptures of individual use nkisi , to which multiple virtues were attributed. The glazed eyes, encircled with resin, symbolize clairvoyance in a face with naturalistic features. Various accessories are present, some of which would accentuate the power of the object, metal in the form of a padlock, basketry backpack lined with textile, headdress made of leather, strips of fabric and feathers. Eroded base. Chocolate shiny patina.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo, led by the king Ntotela. Their kingdom reached ...


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490.00

Large Ogoni Kapkap Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Ogoni Mask

This large mask Ogboni , named Kapkap , related to initiations, would embody an ancestor or a high-ranking character. It has in crest a bird figure. This mask intervenes mainly at the time of the festivities marking the harvests of the yam( dua/i>). Granular matt patina. Cracks of desiccation.
Height on pedestal: 71 cm.
The Ogoni live along the coasts of Nigeria, near the mouth of the Cross-River, south of the Igbo and west of the Ibibio. Their carvings vary from village to village, but are mainly renowned for their masks with articulated jaws like some Ekpo Ibibio masks. Their masks were usually worn at funerals, during festivities accompanying planting and harvesting, but also more recently to welcome distinguished guests. The acrobatic events related to the ...


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750.00

Puppet head Si gale-gale Toba Batak
Tribal art > Art of the world > Batak Head

The traditional arts of Western Indonesia are generally marked by the influence of Islam, Buddhism, and Balinese Hinduism. Thus Sumatra, among the islands of Southeast Asia, has inherited Asian theatrical traditions. It is here through an idealized naturalism that this sculpted head puppet shows the link between the human community and that of the ancestors. The delicacy of the features suggests in this case that it would be a character of high rank, whose peaceful and benevolent physiognomy is veiled by a subtle frown.
By transmitting the perception of beauty, the Batak of North Sumatra excel in the art of sculpture. The puppets and heads si galegale stem from a funerary tradition where the carved object replaces, when necessary, the descendants of the deceased, with the aim of ...


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390.00

Ogoni Elu Mask, Ekpo, articulated jaw
Tribal art > African mask > Ogoni Mask

The Ogoni live along the coasts of Nigeria, near the mouth of the Cross-River, south of the Igbo and west of the Ibibio. Their sculptures vary from village to village, but are mainly renowned for their masks with articulated jaws like some masks Ekpo Ibibio . Their masks were usually worn at funerals, festivities accompanying planting and harvesting, but also more recently to welcome distinguished guests. The acrobatic events related to the karikpo celebration, accompanied by the kere karikpo drum, were also an opportunity to display various zoomorphic masks. Attached with a wicker clasp, the lower jaw of the mask that would embody an ancestor or a high-ranking figure can articulate, revealing wooden sticks depicting a set of teeth. Two-tone satin patina.

Masque Kumu Nsembu
Tribal art > African mask > Komo Mask

Among the primitive art masks, this African mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the Nkunda soothsayer society within the clans living in the north of the Uituri region. Vast eye openings framing a thick nose, housed beneath the volume of a flat skull, and a toothed mouth cut into the lower flat of the face, form the main features of this kaolin-coated mask. Matt patina.


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390.00

Crest Ekoi Ejagham
Tribal art > African mask > Crest Ekoi

Scroll crests in Ejagham/Ekoi African art.
From a circular base decorated with mirrors rises a realistic type head, carried by a high neck. The headdress is made of braids gathered in volutes. The dancer's costume consisted of a large mesh of raffia cords, and more recently, cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that their leather would soften and take on a satisfactory luster. Oily, shiny patina.
Leopard societies, such as the Kpe male society, Ngbe among the Aro, used this model of crest for initiation ceremonies or funerals of association members, but also during agricultural rituals. The hairstyle would represent the hairstyle of the young women named Moninkim at the end of their traditional seclusion during which ...


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850.00

Ijo Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Ijo Mask

Sculptures of African art and "cubist" tribal masks
This mask from the central Ijo region, standing out from the style of the Ijo Kalabari, is associated with the spirits of nature. It was used by one of the male brotherhoods sekiapu or "dancing people" who wore it obliquely on the head. The central panel with a stylized face with protruding eyes is extended by three tubular protrusions, while the upper panel has two tiny faces separated by vertical elements. The patina is a matt, mottled patina with polychrome highlights. Desiccation cracks.
The Ijo of the Niger Delta live mainly from fishing and agriculture, and their small villages are located in swampy areas west of the Nun River, so their cosmogony has naturally centered around this environment. References to their ...


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750.00

Figure Ubanga Nyama Lengola
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Lengola

The stylized African art of the forest tribes
Named Ubanga Nyama or butoka (J.B. Bacquart), this statue embodies, for the Lengolas, the primordial ancestor. It intervened during the funerals of high-ranking members of the secret society of Bukota. A face cut in heart, a long body made up of six interlocking elements and large digitized hands form the main features. In order to ensure optimal stability of the object, we recommend the additional option "associated base".
This male cult effigy comes from the Lengola, living near the Metoko in the center of the Congolese basin between the rivers Lomami and Lualaba, people of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, monotheism rare in Africa. Their society , ...


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750.00

Chokwe altar figure
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Tschokwe

br>This Chokwe statue, generally associated with the therapeutic cult of type Hamba, embodies a female ancestor supposed to guarantee fecundity or healing. These figures were placed around the muyombo altar, a tree at the foot of which sacrifices and offerings were once made. Sculptures such as figures made from sticks or poles ( mbunji or mbanji ), planted in the ground, were also included. Related ethnic groups had this same type of altar, a witness before which rituals, oaths, and important transactions were concluded. The scarification of the face are those that adorn the mask Mukishi wa Mwana Pwo worn during Mukanda initiation ceremonies, associated with fertility and fecundity. The statue and its headdress are sheathed with a textile of which it substitutes shreds. Residual ...


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650.00

Masque Agbogo mwo Igbo
Tribal art > African mask > Igbo Mask

The voluminous headdresses of the Ikorodo masks in the African art of Nigeria.
This African Igbo mask named Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, with narrow eye slits, a face with sharp white coated features, scarification and tattoos. The headdress is composed of three openworked wings topped with circular protrusions, hence the name "cap" headdress. Matt patina. ...


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450.00

Figure of guardian ancestor of Fang reliquary
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Fang

The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor. The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Topped with a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the box, supposed to divert evil influences towards someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of the young men linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in parade. Previews were made on some statues for therapeutic purposes.
This ancestor figure, wearing a triple shell in the Ntumu style, was intended to be placed in a reliquary ...

Ijo animal crest mask
Tribal art > African mask > Ijo Mask

Rare Ijo mask featuring a porcupine. On either side of the animal's body, bristling with spiked sticks of quills, are rims pierced with holes to which the raffia ornament was attached. Base eroded. Their masks and other artistic productions are intended to honor the aquatic spirits, which they venerate and to whom sacrifices were made. The fishermen had to be careful not to offend these spirits, otherwise the latter could kill their wrath by means of the various ...


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650.00

Mossi animal cap mask
Tribal art > African mask > Mossi Mask

The geometrical patterns on this Mossi crocodile mask are enhanced by an ancient polychrome patina. The black patina was originally obtained from charcoal and gum tree husks. The holder of the mask and his family worshipped the object with offerings such as millet beer and invoked its protection. The mask was worn at a slight angle on the forehead. Heterogeneous matte granular patina.

Mossi masks, personal or lineage, are an embodiment of guardian spirits offering their support. They occur at burials, at the funerals of clan chiefs, protect crops. True altars without their costume, they can receive libations such as millet beer to honor the ancestors. Their appearance is now frequent during entertainment shows. Upper Volta, Burkina Faso since independence, is composed of ...


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490.00

Newenka Bobo Fing Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Bobo Mask

Variant of the African mask Newenka of the Bobo Fing, it offers a zoomorphic head topped by a crescent crest, itself surmounted by an animal figure. This voluminous specimen was worn exclusively by members of the blacksmith caste, during mourning ceremonies, to accompany the deceased to his ultimate residence, the volta. At the moment when the eyes of the mask were hollowed out, always starting with the left eye, the spiritual incarnation came to life in the room. The upper part of the mask, in a crescent shape, would represent the flight of a bird. Beautiful patina of matt and crusty use, cracks of desiccation.
A Mandingo people, most of whom live in the east of Burkina Faso, but also in the south of Mali, the culture of the Bobo Fing is similar to that of the Bambara. They ...


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750.00

Male figure Senoufo Tugubele of Poro
Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Senoufo

An oblong face topped with shells evoking a stylized bird, a long narrow bust, proportionally reduced legs, and a solemn attitude. This male figure with fine scarification also wears a talisman revealing the influence of Islam. Usually appearing as a couple, this statue embodies a spirit of nature. Black patina, grainy and shiny.
The Senoufos, the name given to them by French settlers, are mostly composed of farmers who have dispersed between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer the Senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo . Each of them has its own association Poro which initiates young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles ...


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1850.00

Kayamba League Masque
Tribal art > African mask > League Masque

This African Lega mask offers a shallow, narrow volume. Vertical horns stand at the top, and the eyes are treated in rectangles on either side of a very long nose. Light wood rubbed with a locally abraded dark coating. Erosion of the contours.
These masks indicated the stage their holders had reached in the Bwami, a learning society composed of different grades, and which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu. ngandu.


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450.00

Ngbaka Mask
Tribal art > African mask > Ngbaka Mask

This large African mask of the Ngbaka wears the traditional keloids of the ethnic group. The large mouth is dentate. Polychrome patina, white clay residue. A tribe settled on the left bank of the Ubangui river, the Ngbaka practice agriculture, and their artistic achievements were inspired by those of neighboring tribes Ngbandi and Ngombe, with a distinctive feature however, the front line dotted with linear keloids. They are organized in tribes without political unity, under the tutelage of the chief wan and worship a god named Gale through the worship of the spirits of nature. Young people are prepared for adulthood through rituals called "gaza" and trained by former initiates, the bugaza. Their statues generally represent the primordial ancestors Setu and his sister Nabo ...


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450.00



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