This adornment was fixed around the horns of the "favorite ox" belonging to each young boy within the groups established on the borders of Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan and Kenya. Cattle, an indicator of status, constitute a crucial asset for these pastoral peoples living on the arid plains of the Omo.
Young people grow up alongside their assigned animal, a powerful bond developing between them. The owner will shape the horns of his ox, possibly share his ration of milk or blood, and compose the songs to surround the castration of the bull.
Height on base: 36 cm.
Ref. : "Omo Peoples and Design" (p.15) G. Verswijver, H. Silvester, ed. de la Martiniere, Africa Tervuren.
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Architectural decoration in African art associated with Yoruba culture.
Among the Yoruba, public temples, altars or chiefs' huts are blessed with lintels, doors and carved pillars, decorative sculptures dedicated to the mythical gods "orisa" and supposed to attract their blessings.
This post is carved with a female motif and a character who appears to be playing the flute. A polychrome mat coating highlights the different elements of the sculpture.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion is indeed based on artistic sculptures endowed with coded messages ( aroko ). They are designed by sculptors at the request of followers, diviners and their clients. These spirits are believed to intercede with the supreme god ...
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The Urhobos, northwest of the Niger Delta River, form the main ethnic group in Delta State among the 36 states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They speak Urhobo, a language of the Niger-Congo group. Together with the closely related Isoko, they are collectively known as Sobo. Their large sculptures representing the spirits of nature, edjo, or founding ancestors of the clan, to whom sacrifices were offered, were grouped together in sanctuaries within the villages.
Their masks embody the spirits of water and earth. This specimen would have been borrowed from the Western Ijo. This type of mask, which was also associated with a young girl (omotokpokpo), was used during the Niger floods.
Cracks and abrasions.
Lit. : ...
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This piece of exceptional magnitude is reminiscent of throw knives in its shape, but the large ring attached to it forms a rare association. By its volume and weight, it is therefore a prestigious coin of great monetary value for the groups that have forged it and therefore intended for major exchanges. Decorated with thin hatches and small circles regularly engraved on the surface, it also offers a thick handle surrounded by a metal spiral like a rope. Before the arrival of the Europeans, the 'copper bars' (often composed of a spiral-shaped copper and zinc alloy) formed the only currency in Central Africa. These volutes, depending on the region, were named mitako or ngelo . The final aesthetic aspect of this coin dictated our choice for this particular arrangement on its ...
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This Lobi African statuette "Bateba forms a picket top. Cut with efficiency, it represents a rectilinear subject, receptacle of a spirit, whose spherical head offers salient features.
Ocher brown patina.
Among the Lobi of Burkina Faso, these spirits transmit to the soothsayers the laws that the followers must follow to receive their protection.
Sculptures in wood or copper named Bateba (of any size, figurative or abstract), adopt different attitudes that symbolize the particular power or talent that the spirit uses to protect its owners. These figurines are placed on the tombs, in a dark corner of the owners' house, along with other sculptures embodying different spirits.
Source: "Sculptures of the Three Voltas" Massa and Lauret .
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Equipped with an anthropomorphic cap reproducing the shape of traditional dolls, the container is fitted with a carrying strap.
The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwéré, designed dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ceremonies of the initiation. In case the young woman does not conceive, she will adopt the "child". Among the Zaramo and the Kwéré, this sculpted motif is taken up on the top of canes, decorates ritual objects and even appears on burial posts.
View details Kwéré Calabash
The African mask panya ngombe would be associated, for the Pende, with the wild buffalo.
The largest copies were intended to be hung in the chief's hut,
this is probably the case here.
On a triangular face extended by high zoomorphic ears curved backwards, this mask has half-closed horizontal eyelids. The nose forms a realistic detail dominating the protruding rectangle indicating the mouth.
Matt polychrome patina, small erosions and native restoration on one ear.
Height on base: 38 m.
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 ...
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African Dogon art.Male figure with columnar bust standing on bent legs. Short, small arms frame the face. Grainy matte surface, cracks.
The African tribal statues of the Dogon may 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.
The figures with raised arms always symbolized a prayer to Amma for the granting of the rain that is essential to all life, and it could also be a gesture of contrition following the violation of a law that led to a drought.
The southern part of the plateau ...
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Mask represented topped with an amulet like those that women inserted in their hair. It was used with Zamble and Zaouli, but is no longer used today. ("Guro", ed. 5Continents, pl.13) Numerous erosions.
Among the Mande group in the south, in central Côte d'Ivoire, on the banks of the Bandama, the Gouro are organized into lineages, and are the western neighbors of the Baoulé who have borrowed several features of their African tribal art creations. Animists, they have used since the 1950s a family of masks associated with the Zaouli dance. Indeed like the African Goli masks of the Baule, the set of Guro masks, relating to the genies of nature, comes in two zoomorphic masks followed by a third anthropomorphic one, which is considered the wife of the zamblé mask, the Gu. Priest ...
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Embodying the spirit of an ancestor, this African mask-helmet of the Makonde of Tanzania adopts here a bright yellow version trimmed with human hair. The bristles are implanted along grooves representing braids styled backwards.
The ancestors would return masked in order to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. Some of these masks feature wax tattoos or scarifications incised in the wood.
The mouth treated with realism half-opens on an incised dentition, singularity of the Makonde statuary.
Abraded matte patina.
The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde worship an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary, in ...
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Loaded with a sumptuous disparate decoration, this large wooden doll of the Namji or Dowayo , animist mountain people living in the north of Cameroon, forms a refined version of a traditional African doll.
These African tribal dolls are carved in wood by the blacksmith, initially for the play of little girls. But these dolls are mainly used by sterile women in complex fertility rituals, the doll becoming a surrogate child that they will treat as such. In some cases the groom offered it to his future wife, the doll representing their future offspring. The decoration of the doll can also reproduce the finery of the new initiates after their period of confinement.
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Surmonté d'une succession de figures sculptées en haut-relief incarnant probablement les ancêtres, le visage géométrique possède une bouche en pointe telle un bec. La patine mate révèle des tons clairs rosés voisins avec des nuances abrasées de gris sombre. Masque rare, visiblement repeint à maintes reprises, cédé à la suite de cérémonies dansées.
Erosions, manques, fissures de dessication.
Le peuple dogon est renommé dans l'art tribal africain pour les mythes et les croyances relatives à sa cosmogonie.
Sa population est estimée à environ 300 000 âmes vivantes au sud-ouest de la boucle du Niger dans la région de Mopti au Mali et une partie du Nord du Burkina. Le masque sirige "long, haut", ou awa danu "masque de bois haut", est comparé à une "maison à étage", c'est à dire une ...
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Prestige spoon with anthropomorphic handle. The carved motif symbolizing an ancestor refers to the creation, when the first Makonde man would have carved a female image who became the mother of his children and who has been revered ever since. Matt patina, lacks, small accidents.
Height on base: 47 cm.
The Makonde, a matrilineal Bantu people of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania, wore helmet masks called lipiko, mapiko, during initiation ceremonies for young people . The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of relatively naturalistic female statuary. In addition to face masks, midimu, the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust, exalting fertility.
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This mask forms one of the versions of the "Bongo", intervening during the initiation rites and the funerals of the elders of the society. The costume that completes the dancer's outfit (raffia leaves) is comparable to that of "Bwoom".
Dull polychrome matte patina, erosions.
The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong who are still ruled by a king today.
More than twenty types of tribal masks are used among the Kuba or "lightning people", with meanings and functions that vary from group to group. Ritual ceremonies were an opportunity to exhibit decorative arts and masks, in order to honor the spirit of the deceased or to honor the king.
Three types of masks linked to Kuba mythological history have been associated with dances that take place in the royal ...
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Among the particularly refined ethnographic objects from Oceania, true royal attributes, this non-functional paddle has a skillfully chiseled openwork handle.
The blade is also adorned with a succession of very finely crafted decorative motifs. This prestigious object accompanied ceremonial dances and official outings of dignitaries.
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Several ethnic groups in the Ivory Coast have seats similar in design to this Dan stool, but it is distinguished by its carved decorative motifs and sculpted legs. The sculptor has preserved the natural shape of a branch for the back. Desiccation cracks, patina of use, dark, oiled.
For the Dan people of the Ivory Coast, also called Yacouba, two very distinct universes are opposed: that of the village, composed of its inhabitants and its animals, and that of the forest, its vegetation and the animals and spirits that inhabit it. In order for these spirits to establish themselves, a specific area of the forest is designated and always preserved outside the dan villages. Sacrifices are also required in order to communicate through these spirits. Different types of Dan masks have ...
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African parade weapon from North East Africa.
Blade adhering to a hollow wooden shaft thanks to wickerwork fibers firmly wrapped around a section of the handle.
The Shilluk (variant Shiluck, Chilouk) form a Nilotic people mainly established in southern Sudan, on the banks of the Nile, around Malakal, where they constitute the third largest ethnic group after the Dinka and the Nuer.
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Facial mask shared with a crenellated ridge. A motif of an antelope's head surmounts it, leaning on a long openwork plank of motifs, the latter constituting graphic signs recalling the traditional rules opening the door to divine blessings.
Thick matte black patina, residual encrustations. Minor cracks.
The Mossi masks, personal or lineage, constitute an incarnation of tutelary spirits offering their support. They perform at burials, 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 made up of the descendants of the Nakomse invaders, horsemen from Ghana, and the ...
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Collection African tribal art Belgian.
African figure carved Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) desacralized, acquired in 1950 and transmitted by succession. The magic charge bishimba and the various addendums, metal, trinkets, etc... supposed to reinforce the power of the fetish are absent.
Glossy dark patina. Desication cracks, erosions.
These protective fetishes for homes are among the most popular in Africa. The Nkisi plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, the more modest figures reserved for individual or family use.
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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.
Matte beige and pink ocher patina.
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 ...
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Rare figures of young couple dan, engraved with multiple scarifications, and wearing braids gathered in shells falling in 'dreadlocks' on both sides of the face. A very subtle differentiation of the faces marks the genre. Beautiful old patina deeply encrusted with kaolin. Desication cracks, slight erosions. As gifts of women, food, festive ceremonies and honorable status once rewarded the dan sculptors to whom this talent was granted during a dream. The latter was the means of communication of Du, invisible spiritual power, with men. Statuary, rare, played a prestigious role with its holder. These are mainly effigies of wives, la m , wooden human beings. These are not incarnations of spirits or effigies of ancestors, but prestigious figures representing living people, often ...
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