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Tribal art - African Jar:

Sometimes made of wood, sometimes of materials from mud ponds and rivers, these utilitarian objects are an integral part of daily life in Africa. They also have a spiritual function and receive offerings and gris-gris.


Kuba Box
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Kuba Box

The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the high ranks of their society. The Leus live in the west of the Kuba kingdom and share common cultural characteristics with the Bushoong of the Kuba country. Both groups adorn their prestige objects with similar motifs. The only ethnic group created a variety of lidded containers in which individual goods were stored, the Kuba adorned them with patterns similar to those of embroidered textiles. The top lid that forms here like a toque is engraved with a large decorative frieze. It rests on a flared pot, tightened in the center, under which an animal symbol forms a stylized pattern in relief. Very nice refined object, equipped with a clever system: a small internal hook allows to fit the lid on the edge ...


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Yoruba Cup
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Tribal art > African Statues > Yoruba Cup

Focused on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages ( aroko). These spirits are supposed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare. This feminine figure, kneeling, her breasts stretched over a bird-patterned offering cup, presents a spherical receptacle in the image of the earth. It is intended for votive offerings, gifts for visitors, or divination. Sculptures of this type decorated the palaces of the country Yoruba. Linear scarifications mark the face of the character in order not only to increase their physical beauty, but also to identify the rank or origin of its wearer. Body marks could be permanent or temporary, such as tattoos made from insect or plant juices, especially for court dignitaries or the king himself. ...


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Yoruba box
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Tribal art > African Jar > Yoruba box

A lidded vessel, decorated with various subjects, human figures, associated with ancestors and spirits orisa, and bird figures symbolizing divination are carved in the round. Bas-relief interlacing adorns the rectangular chest. Faded polychromy, matte patina, minimal cracks and abrasions.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages ( aroko ). These spirits are believed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare . The cups are intended for votive offerings, gifts for visitors, or for divination. Sculptures of this type decorated palaces in Yoruba country. Linear scarifications mark the faces of the characters with the aim not only of increasing their physical beauty, but also of identifying the rank or ...


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Luba jar
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Tribal art > African Jar > Luba jar

Luba container whose cephalomorphic neck is pierced with two holes. The plaited braid of the human motif elegantly rests on the upper part of the handle. The smooth sides are incised with decorative motifs, arranged in successive friezes.
Light golden brown slip.
The cradle of the Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu River. They were born of a secession from the Songhoy ethnic group. In the 16th century they created a state, organized in decentralized chiefdoms, which stretched from the Kasai River to Lake Tanganyika. The chiefdoms cover a small territory with no real border which includes at most three villages.
Source "Africa, The Art of a Continent" ed. Prestel; "Luba" F. Neyt.


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Kuba cup
Tribal art > African Jar > Kuba cup

Like their Kuba neighbors, the Lele have a wide variety of ceremonial sculptures, such as this cup used during divination rites, pacts, ritual ceremonies. This copy stands out thanks to its original design, giving it great elegance.
Beautiful glossy dark patina. Desication cracks.
The Kuba are renowned for the refinement of prestige items created for members of the high ranks of their society. Several Kuba groups indeed produced anthropomorphic objects with refined motifs including cups, drinking horns and goblets. The Lele are established in the west of the Kuba kingdom, at the confluence of the Kasai and Bashilele rivers. The intercultural exchanges between the Bushoong of the Kuba territory and the Lele have made the attribution of certain objects difficult, because ...


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390.00

Nyamezi Calabash
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Tribal art > African Jar > Nyamezi Calabash

Container formed from the dried fruit of the calabash tree, on which a carved wooden stopper has been fitted. The head is encrusted with pearls representing the eyes, and oversized ears frame the pulled back hairstyle. Braided raffia strap.
The Luo, Kuria, Haya and Ziba, the Kéréwé, Karagwé, Sukuma and Nyamézi are established in the center west and the 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 ...


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Hemba anthropomorphic box
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Hemba Box

This lidded container depicts an ancestor, intermediate between men and gods, adopting a symbolic gesture, arms raised, one of the hands folded. A tiara engraved with lines delimits the shaved skull. The traditional sophisticated hairstyle, oiled and coated with red powder, then mounted on a raffia base, was organized at the back in cruciform element most often. The beard is associated with the wisdom and experience of the grandfather.
Generally made in iroko, these ritual sculptures were venerated by a particular clan and stored in funeral premises in the chief's house.
Patine golden brown oiled and velvety, very slight cracks. Erosions

The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, have long been subject to the luba neighbour who ...


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Dan Mortar
Tribal art > African Jar > Dan Mortar

Evoking a miniature stool, this cup for grinding ingredients such as tobacco, spices or pigments, is carried by four curved legs on which human features are engraved. Dark brown satin patina, locally lightened. Desication crack.
For the Dan of Côte d'Ivoire, also called Yacouba, two very distinct universes oppose each other: that of the village, made up of its inhabitants, its animals, and that of the forest, its vegetation and the animals and spirits that live there. populate. For these spirits to settle, a specific area of the forest is designated and still preserved outside the dan villages. Sacrifices are also required in order to communicate through these spirits. Different types of dan masks have been listed, each with a specific function.


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290.00

Kongo box
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Tribal art > African Jar > Kongo box

Ointment box with lid sculpted in the round with the effigy pfemba, illustrating an African Kongo motherhood. The woman seated cross-legged, named phemba or pfemba, symbol of the mythical ancestor, would be associated with fertility cults. The child on her lap would embody the matrilineal transmission of power. Black satin patina.
The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombé were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom, from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rites by means of carved fetishes nkondo nkisi.
The Yombe are established on the west coast of Africa, in the south-west of the Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities whose use remains little known.


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Tsogho Reliquary Box
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Tribal art > African Jar > Tsogho Box

This box with handles was intended for the relics of an ancestor, the bust figure surmounting its lid reproducing the silhouette of the "garde" reliquary of the bwete, or bwiti , in the Mitsoghos. Desication cracks, shrapnel. Patine mate.
The Mitsogho ethnic group, Sogho, is established in a forested area on the right bank of the Ngoumé River, Ngounié, near the Kwele. The Bwiti company, which has a system of reliquaries comparable to that of the Fang and Kota, formed the cohesion of the matrilineal clans mitsogho. Their masks were displayed at the funeral, and stored in the male ebanza initiation house. Like the other etnies of Gabon, they practice the rites of the Bwiti which would have spread in this way among the coastal peoples. Their sculptural production is varied, in the ...


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Yombé ointment box with Pfemba pattern
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Tribal art > African Jar > Yombé box

A maternity figure pfemba , carved in the round, tops the lid of this small ointment box. The woman seated cross-legged, named phemba or pfemba, a symbol of the mythical ancestor, is likely associated with fertility cults. The child on her lap would embody the matrilineal transmission of power. Black satin patina. The Solongo cultures of Angola and Yombe were largely influenced by the Kongo kingdom from which they borrowed naturalistic statuary and religious rituals by means of carved fetishes nkondo nkisi.
The Yombe are established on the West African coast, in the southwestern Republic of Congo and in Angola. Their statuary includes remarkable maternities whose use remains little known.

Statue Angola
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Angola

This exceptional sculpted, stylized female figure features a container on the back with metallic sheets on the back. Parallel legs are like tied at the ankles by copper wire. The digitized hands are gathered at the bust, under the breasts of a young girl. In the rectangular volume of the legs evoking a loincloth, a deep orifice has been arranged. Circular facial scarifications can sometimes be found in neighbouring Chokwe and Luena. The character is said to be associated with the mythical ancestor "nana yakoma", guardian of the sacred fire. This type of sculpture was reserved for the exclusive use of chefs. It is on the Benguéla plateau in Angola that the Ovimbudu , Ovimbundu, composed of farmers and herders, have been established for several centuries. They belong to Bantu speakers, such ...


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Pende Ceremonial cup
Tribal art > African Jar > Pende cup


Cephalomorphic headdress with a handle, a figurative chief's insignia marked by Tschokwe influence. The headdress would be of the "guhota sanga" style worn around the 1950s . (p.7 "Pende" Z.S. Strother - ed. 5Continents) Black glossy patina.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba, and Salempasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks, realistic ,produced every ten years, have a festive function, and embody different characters, including the chief, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute, the possessed, etc.... The masks of initiation and those ...


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450.00

Yoruba statue
Tribal art > African Jar > Yoruba statue

The monumental sculpture of African art from the Yoruba region.
A container with a lid, symbolizing the world, is supported by a seated female subject. Human figures, evocations of fertility, ancestors and orisa spirits, were sculpted in the round while faces adorn the cup. The different scenes refer to mythology and Yoruba gods. Matt polychrome patina, minimal cracks.
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà , the Yoruba religion is based on artistic sculptures with coded messages ( aroko ). These spirits are believed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare . The cups are intended for votive offerings, gifts for visitors, or for divination. Sculptures of this type decorated the palaces of the Yoruba country. Linear scarifications mark the faces of the ...


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690.00

Funeral cup
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Tribal art > African Terracotta > Funeral cup

Pot on foot of a beautiful regularity, with orange slip. A wide band of motifs in relief borders the walls. According to the catalog "Sura Dji, faces and roots of Zaire" (1982), this type of bowl was used for prepared food. Along the Zaire River, over 200 km, cemeteries were uncovered around the 1940s. In Sanga, Bukama, but also in the region of Pungwe, around Lake Kisale, funerary ceramics were discovered buried in the graves of chiefs.


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Double jarre Mangbetu
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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 ...


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Statue Senoufo
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Senoufo

This African sculpture combines an animal figure with a curved back under the weight of a cup, and a monkey whose name is aboya , or mbotumbo enthroned at the top. These sculptures were once associated with a cult that was forbidden to women and reserved for blacksmiths. Among the Baoulé , this cult, the Mbra, required the sacrifice of a dog, which the Guro and the Senoufo also practiced. These figures indeed evoke powerful spirits of nature bonu amuin linked to virility and whose energy should be channeled through rituals involving sacrificial offerings. These statues were held by soothsayers possessed by the spirit the object was meant to embody. The Senoufos, the name given to them by French settlers, are mostly composed of farmers who dispersed between Mali, Ivory Coast, and ...


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Double figurative cut Luba Kiteya
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Tribal art > African Jar > Luba Cup


Female figures embodying spirits encircle a double cylindrical container mboko, which was usually filled with kaolin, an image of purity and the spiritual world. The whole is supported by an animal. These vessels were used by different Luba societies, and groups of prophets, more generally by the mediums of the divination society Kilumbu , Bilumbu , or by the healers of the society Buhabo . It was, individually or collectively, to consult the spirits of the ancestors through specialists. This type of cup also played a role during the investiture of the Luba king.
Maroon patina encrusted with kaolin residues.
The Lubas (Baluba in Tchiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus the ...

Pot Kuba
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Tribal art > African Jar > Pot Kuba

This milk container has a handle and a rounded lid. The decorative friezes are made of pearls and cowrie shells, the latter symbolizing material wealth and having constituted a currency of exchange during the 19th century in Africa. Soft and satin surface, glossy patina. Minimal cracks.
The Kuba and the tribes settled between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers, including the Bushoong and Dengese also from the Mongo group, are renowned for the refinement of prestige objects created for members of the higher ranks of their society. Several Kuba groups produced anthropomorphic ceremonial objects with refined designs, including cups, drinking horns and goblets. The Kuba kingdom was founded in the 16th century by the Bushoong who are still ruled by a king today. It is the most prolific ...


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Yoruba monumental cup with offerings
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Tribal art > African Jar > Yoruba Cup

Monumental sculpture of African art from the Yoruba region. Lidded vessels, adorned with a variety of subjects, are superimposed above figures of caryatids framing a central, seated figure. The human figures, evocations of fertility, ancestors, and orisa spirits, were carved in the round while bas-relief motifs adorn the walls of the central rectangular bowl. The various scenes refer to Yoruba mythology. Faded polychromy, matt patina, minimal cracks and abrasions. Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages ( aroko ). These spirits are believed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare . The cups are intended for votive offerings, gifts for visitors, or for divination. Sculptures of this type decorated ...

Fon terracota jar pair
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Tribal art > African Jar > Fon Jar

From the ex private collection of African Art Emile Robyn ( Brussels, Belgium ).

It's a pottery linked to the worship Mawu-Lissa, who is a creator deities in the voodoo religion. This divinity is known in the Ewe and Mina people from Togo and the Fon people from Benin in west Africa. Mawu-Lissa means " What we can't overcome " . It's also used by the Christians to designate God in the Bible or in the Christian liturgy.

It's the grandfather of Emile, Abel Robyn, that started the collection in 1850, who was transmitted over three generations. At the death of Abel in 1895, his son, Jérôme Robyn did inherited the collection which he continued to fulfil until his death in 1968.

Emile Robyn inherited from his father and also continued this ...


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