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Tribal art - African mask:

Dedicated to various functions and uses, the mask is one of the best known pieces of African art. Generally representing a deceased person, it is used to make offerings and to dance on special occasions. African masks come in many shapes, materials and designs.


Dogon Kanaga mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Coll. art africain française Voltz, piece estimated around 1920 according to Zemanek-Münster where it was acquired.
In funeral rites, members of the Awa society, dance with the masks on the roof of the dead man's house, to lead his soul (nyama) to his eternal rest and to defend the living. The Kanaga mask is also used to protect hunters from the vengeance of the prey he has killed.
This example is designed according to a recurrent structure and the features evoke a bird's beak. As a preliminary to funerals or during the mourning period, numerous copies, almost all identical, appear on the dance floor, after having circulated in the village's alleys. Depending on the degree of initiation, this mask will not have the same meaning when it is brought out during the mourning ...


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2450.00

Bamana animal mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Bamana mask

Very graphic mask, whose curved jaw would evoke the "sucking" of knowledge. The deep oiled patina is raised by geometrical patterns carefully incised on the surface. Erosions. Established in central and southern Mali, in a savannah area, the Bambara, "Bamana" or "unbelievers", as the Muslims have named them, belong to the large Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Mostly farmers, but also breeders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali. Groups of Bambara artisans nyamakala , more specifically the blacksmiths named numu , are in charge of sculpting ritual objects, endowed with nyama , occult energy. Using fire and magical objects, the role of healer and diviner is also attributed to them Six male associations, the Dyow , using Bambara masks, structure the Bambara ...


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Senoufo Kpeliye mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Senoufo mask

The African masks of the Senufo are worn by male members of the Poro society, an institution that controls political and economic life.
Devoid of fins, this rare type of mask "Kpélié" , or "mask that jumps", is also worn during initiations symbolically marking a death followed by a rebirth. A thick beard adorns the contours of the mask, composed of multiple finely braided plaits. Green pigmented patina, locally chipped. Missing and indigenous restoration on the contours.
Kept in the sacred enclosure named sezang in order to remove them from the gaze of the uninitiated, their function is to honor the elders or even appear at funerals. Anthropomorphic masks would mainly chase the spirit of the deceased from its place of residence. Living in a reserved area, the ...


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Gu Guro mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Guro mask

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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480.00  384.00

Dan Gunyeya "racing" mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Dan mask

An actor of the social order, the African Dan mask would, according to Eberhard Fisher, be of the female or male type. The almond-shaped face, with protruding, full lips, is pierced by large circular eyes. Abraded patina of use, erosions, grainy matte areas.
The masks equipped with round orbits ( named gunyeya or gunye ge), facilitating vision, are part of the mask set of the Northern Dan and are used for racing events in the dry season. As for the zapkei ge , equipped with a gaze highlighted with red textile pierced with circular orbits, they are responsible for preventing fires by watching over domestic fires. They are worn accessorized with caps, braids, textile cape and raffia, the most prestigious of them being the go ge , royal mask reserved for exceptional events. ...


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650.00  520.00

Hemba Mambwe simian mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Hemba masker

Exceptional mask of character representing a monkey, and whose power is expressed through features and volumes skillfully rendered. Marks of use, velvety patina, small accidents and abrasions. Residues of red pigments.
Only two types of Hemba masks have been identified: that of an anthropomorphic type with regular features, whose pointed chin is reminiscent of statuary, and those depicting monkeys,the soko mutu , and whose functions remain little known, but which probably belonged, according to J.Kerchache, to the secret societies bugabo and bambudye . The smallest specimens ( about twenty centimeters) would have been carried in the hand during rites intended for the protection of the home and fertility. In addition to the janiform statuettes kabeja , the statues of male ...


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750.00  600.00

Small circumcision mask Zombo
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Tribal art > African mask > Zombo mask

Ex. Belgian African Art Collection.
The nzo longo male circumcision ceremonies of the Zombo are accompanied by masked dances. These rituals take place around the retreat of the young, for several months, during which the necessities of social, village and religious life will be taught to them.
This mask topped by a rounded visor crest is divided into areas of contrasting colors. The nose, eye sockets and mouth are delicately carved. An abundant ornament of raffia accompanies the whole. Velvety pigmented patina. Height on base: 51 cm.

Neighbors of the Yaka , the Nkanu and the Kongo in the west of the former Zaire, on the border with Angola, the Zombo fear, like the Kongo clans, the god named Nzambi. Their diviners use fetishes comparable to those of the ...


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1150.00  920.00

Dogon masker
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Tribal art > African mask > Dogon masker

Dogon mask carved in dense wood, with an expressive physiognomy, whose particularity resides in a small, narrow, bulbous forehead, large hollowed out eyes, a typically Dogon nose, all in length ending in an arrow, and an apparent dentition. Ochre patina with dark, grainy residues, resulting from libations.
More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, of which the best known are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé and Walu. Most of them are used by the circumcised initiates of the Awa society, during funeral ceremonies. The Awa refers to the masks, their costumes, and the set of Dogons serving the masks. Some evoke animals, in reference to the rich cosmogony and mythology of African Dogon art. The "nyama", the life force of the mask, is activated by various rituals to develop ...


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Dogon Walu mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Ex-French African art collection.
The presence of horns on this ancient Dogon mask recalls the walu, an animal linked to Dogon cosmogony. High rectangular depressions have been fitted with cavities for vision. An ancient polychromy, white spotted with ochre, remains faintly. Velvety surface, cracks of desiccation. Marcel Griaule counted no less than 78 types of Dogon masks during his fieldwork. This piece, with its stylized features, is characteristic of Dogon creations. The latter, influenced by their predecessors in the Bandiagara region, the Tellem, have retained this verticality in their pieces. In parallel with Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, the Wagem, ancestor worship under the authority of the ...


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1200.00

Yaka n-kisyan-khanda mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Yaka Mask

An elaborate structure, based on textile-trimmed basketry, has a single circular tray framed by antennae for this northern Yaka mask. The Zombo also used similar masks sculpted by the Yaka. The visor here is broken. Insiders could wear these single-platform masks that appeared in pairs. Very beautiful locally abraded granular polychromy.
As initiation songs accompanied the appearance of the African Yaka mask, which incorporates the category of high-ranking masks thanks to its tiered headdress. Their design aroused the creativity of the sculptors whom the chefs rewarded for their talent. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the resulting prestige ...


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440.00  440.00

Chokwe Mwana pwo mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Chokwe mask

A basketry helmet, on which a large number of textile braids form a sumptuous headdress evokes that of the Chokwe women, coated with red earth. The harmonious features of the face are finely chiseled, enhanced by traditional scarified motifs. Smooth orange-brown glossy patina.
Height on base: 46 cm. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwe never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of the Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did not have centralized power but ...


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Baoule Ndoma mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Baoule mask

This Baule African mask, a portrait mask or ndoma, has many careful details illustrating Baule refinement. It is also embellished with fine scarifications named " ngole". Dark brown glossy surface.
Acquired at the Hotel des Ventes Giraudeau, ex. Parisian private collection.
Height on base: 39 cm.
Splits.
These portrait masks of the Baule, ndoma , which are part of one of the oldest Baule artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity of appearing at the end of ceremonies of entertainment dances.These are named, according to the regions, bedwo , ngblo , mblo , adjussu , etc.... Each of these masks differ in hairstyles, placement and choice of scarification. They perform during danced events accompanied by ...


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Mbala Bakungu / Kwese mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Mbala mask

Among the sacred symbols of authority (Pindi) of the Mbala, this imposing mask has a polychrome patina that gives it a rare character. Imbued with contemplation and serenity, a powerful physiognomy is imprinted on the heart-shaped face with rounded cheeks. The thick raffia adornment attached to the base, intended to conceal the wearer, remains well preserved. Lacks and abrasions. Minimal cracks. Coming from Angola in the 17th century, the Mbala settled in northwestern Zaire and east among the Pelende, Suku, Pende, and Yaka. Formerly matrilineal, they are made up of clans headed by the maternal uncle. The chief was in charge of the ancestor cult, although it was quite limited. Following a retreat of a few days, royal insignia and charms were given to him, intended to combat powers ...


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Igbo Agbogo Mmwo Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Igbo Mask

African art and the spectacular crest masks of the Igbo ethnic group.
African Igbo mask Agbogo Mmwo adopting traditional conventions glorifying youth and beauty, with narrow slits in the eyes, an emaciated face coated with white, scarifications and tattoos in checkerboards or ornamental pellets. The high headdress is composed of openwork half disks mixed with braids.
The white color of the mask refers to the ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompanying the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means "spirit of the dead." Matt patina, cracks and abrasions.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeast Nigeria. They have managed to combine a strong sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of group belonging. Their political system is ...


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Makonde mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Makonde mask

Scaled down version for this African mask Makonde embodying an ancestral spirit. The ancestors would return masked to mark their satisfaction following initiation. A labret distorts the upper lip. The incised patterns refer to the traditional tattoos and scarifications of the Makonde.
Satin patina.
The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore mask-helmets called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young men. The Makonde worship an ancestor , which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. In addition to the facial masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that instruct youth about the requirements of marriage and family life. the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust. (Art and Life in Africa, C.D. Roy)


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480.00  384.00

Masque Chokwe Mukishi wa Pwo
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Tribal art > African mask > Chokwe Mask

Ex-collection Swiss African art.
African Mask of reduced volume intervening during the initiation ceremonies of passage to adulthood, the mukanda , marking among other things the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. This mask symbolizing the first ancestor, devoid of accessories, is engraved with checkerboards forming stripes on the cheeks depicting traditional keloid scars. The mouth shows off lime teeth, a criterion of feminine beauty in the Chokwe. Black brown satin patina. Desication crack. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. The African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many masks akishi (sing: mukishi, ...

Dogon blade mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Topped with a high flat crest, this African Dogon mask is one of the many stylistic variations of Dogon masks, icons of Dogon tribal art. Angular features, eyes hollowed out in a triangle, thin protruding lips, and a protrusion extending the nose, characterize this mask carved in a dense wood, with a grainy surface. Polychrome crusty patina with local flaking. The Dogon are a people renowned for their cosmogony, their esotericism, their myths and legends. Their population is estimated at about 300,000 souls living southwest of the Niger loop in the Mopti region of Mali (Bandiagara, Koro, Banka), near Douentza and part of northern Burkina (northwest of Ouahigouya). The villages are often perched on the top of scree on the side of hills, according to a unique architecture. The ...


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750.00  600.00

Wurkun/Bikwin Vertical Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Wurkun Mask

Classical design for a so-called anthropomorphic "shoulder" mask, the torso being represented thanks to the boxed base, a powerful neck protruding from it, supporting the head topped with a crest. Fine scarifications can be seen on the face, whose upper lip bears the circular imprint of a labret. The center of the cup-shaped ears has an opening. The small nipples grouped together on the panel with no opening for the eyes could symbolize healing marks. The vegetal fibers that were attached to the perforations of the contours made it possible to completely hide the wearer.
Dark, satiny patina, locally rubbed with ochre pigments.
Good general condition.
Vertical masks of this nature were used in procession by neighboring groups, Wurkun/Bikwin , Mumuye, and Jukun, ...

Songye Kikashi mask with ornament
Tribal art > African mask > Songye mask

French African art collection, acquired from Zemanek.
African mask of the Songye kikashi equipped with its ample fiber suit. It offers a flat nasofrontal crest. Parallel striations carved into the surface of the wood symbolize feathering and the connection to death.
Three variants of this Kifwebe mask (pl. Bifwebe) or "chasing death" (Roberts) can be distinguished: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) with a very low crest or even absent, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). This type of mask, which is still used today, seems to come from the area bordering the northern Luba and the Songye of the southeast. They are worn with a long suit and a long beard made of natural fibers during the most important ...


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4900.00

Bobo hippotrague helmet mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Bobo Mask

Ex-collection African tribal art from France
. The African masks animal from Burkina Faso
This helmet mask of imposing dimensions embodies a large antelope from West Africa, the hippotrague, with its ringed horns tilted back. Semi-satin patina, desiccation cracks and abrasions.
The Bobo Fing are a Mandingo people, most of whom live in the east of Burkina Faso, but also in the south of Mali. Their culture is similar to that of the Bambara. They are organized in lineages led by councils of elders. In each village altars are erected under the authority of blacksmiths, priests of the Dwo cult, but the Bobo also venerate secondary spirits and those of the ancestors. In addition to objects carved from wood, they also make masks from fiber sheets to wear during ceremonies in ...

Dan Zapkei or Gunye ge mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dan mask

African mask of Côte d'Ivoire distinguished by its circular eyes surrounded by metal surrounded by orbits engraved in the heart. The lips are trimmed with metal sticks evoking teeth. This so-called 'race' mask (sharp face, hollowed-out round eyes, tanned mouth) was held against the face with cotton strips attached to the perforations of the contours and knotted behind the head. Tradition has it that its wearer is pursued by an unmasked runner; if he is caught, he must pass the mask to the winner, who in turn will be pursued by another rider. These races were once designed to train men in running and fighting. This type of event is now very often linked to the holidays announcing the beginning of the dry season and those related to the initiation of young children. Glossy black brown ...


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480.00





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