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
Small mortar for spices, pigments, or therapeutic ingredients. The object is carved with different faces that take up the features of the traditional masks of the group.
Golden brown satin patina. Slight residue of kaolin.
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 of power, the ...
View details Pende Mortar
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 ...
View details Tschokwe Jar
Male figure hollowed out halfway up, and whose lid is made up of the upper part of the body. The subject offers arms whose reduced size contrasts with the otherwise robust morphology. The features of the face, very stretched, are sculpted in low relief under a hat-shaped headdress. Shiny mahogany patina, desiccation cracks.
Of Lunda origin, the Lwena, Luena, emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, repelled by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their sculptures embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation rites of the mukanda . Their sculpture was largely influenced by that of the Chokwe.
View details Lwena Box
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 ...
View details Nyamezi Calabash
French African art collection.
Portable altar dedicated to the "inner head", on which an abundance of cowries refers to prosperity through their use of old coins but also to spirituality. The elaborate and refined ornamentation, the diversity of the elements and materials that compose it, indicate the social rank of the owner of this "house of the head". For the Yoruba, the "inner head", a metaphysical reflection of the physical head, contains the essence of being in intimate relationship with the "Supreme Being". (pl.11, "Yoruba" B.Lawal, ed. 5Continents)
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by the sculptors at the request of the followers, soothsayers and their ...
View details Yoruba Box
The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor.
Container in the shape of a column, the lid of which is carved with a motif in the round associated with the ancestors of the clan. Brown nuanced lustrous patina. Cracks.
Among the Fang, the boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences towards someone else. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and ...
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The ritual consumption of palm wine from an individual cup, Kopa, Koopha, was the prerogative of the lineage head or matrilineal supreme head during certain ceremonies, such as a marriage. It was then passed on to the next generation.
This yaka-type dish, which included regalia, prestigious objects symbolizing status and reserved for the chieftaincy, offers symbols carved in high relief. Similar models named koopha were used by the Yaka ( Fig.6 p.17 in "Yaka" ed. 5Continents. )
Glossy mahogany patina.
The Suku and Yaka ethnic groups, established in a region between the Kwango and Kwilu rivers, in the south of the Democratic Republic of Congo, recognize common origins and have certain similar social structures and cultural practices. The presence of Holo and Kongo among them in ...
View details Yaka cup
The Yaka surround each other in daily life with regalia decorated with carved figures, such as this statue forming a container intended to contain kaolin for the investiture of the chiefs. Its use was diverted, traces of shea by lining the internal walls. The head, which would appear the mediating soothsayer with a high cap, has coffee bean eyes deeply surrounded. Hollowed sex is clearly associated with circumcision. Beautiful glossy, sainy patina. With the Yaka, at the new moon, the soothsayer ngaanga ngoombu covers his face with kaolin before issuing an oracle. During its daytime passage into the basement, the moon is coated with this white clay. The night would convey the virtues of life. The Yaka society is extremely hierarchical and authoritarian. The head of ...
View details Pot Yaka
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 ...
View details Kuba cup
Maternities in the Traditional African Art of Nigeria.
Refined sculpture featuring a cup carrier.
The mother, or priestess, her face streaked with scarifications, is kneeling and has a zoomorphic cup with a lid, which is intended for offerings or divination. Offering cups, some of which were used to store kola nuts or other gifts for visitors, were once placed in royal palaces in the Ekiti and Igbomina regions of Yoruba country.
The Yoruba religion is based on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). These spirits are believed to intercede with the supreme god Olodumare.
Grainy polychrome patina. Deep desication cracks.
(source: "Yoruba", B.Lawal, ed. 5 Continents)
View details Yoruba cup
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 ...
View details Kuba Box
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. ...
View details Yoruba Cup
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 ...
View details Yoruba box
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.
View details Luba jar
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 ...
View details Hemba anthropomorphic box
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.
View details Dan Mortar
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.
View details Kongo 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 ...
View details Tsogho 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.
View details Yombé ointment box with Pfemba pattern
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 ...
View details Statue Angola