African mask of "reduced size, intended for entertainment ceremonies and which can therefore, according to the Baule tradition, be seen by women. The streaks of the hairstyle represent braids, the traditional scarifications called "ngole" underline traits.
Chipped matte patina.
Height on base: 36 cm.
These portrait masks of the Baoulé, Kpwan, which are part of one of the oldest Baoulé artistic traditions and frequently represent an idealized character, have the particularity of appearing at the end of entertainment dance ceremonies. These are named, according to the regions, bedwo, ngblo, mblo, adjussu, etc.... Each of these masks are distinguished by the hairstyles, the location and the choice of scarifications, etc... Also called Gbagba, they personify graceful young girls ...
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Bokyi and Idoma designed this same type of bleached masks, enhanced with scarifications, appearing during specific funeral rites.
This version with altered contours presents a broad face with a rounded forehead, whose open mouth reveals sharp teeth. Colored highlights accentuate the contrasts.
Thick velvety patina locally chipped.
Height on base: 37 cm.
The Idoma settled at the confluence of the Bénué and the Niger. Numbering 500,000, they are made up of farmers and traders. The neighborhood and therefore the influences of the Igbo, those of the Cross River and Igala ethnic groups have generated stylistic borrowings, and great tribal similarities.
Royal lineage members of their oglinye society, glorifying courage, wear masks and crests during funerals and festivities. They ...
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This African Bwa mask is topped with a plank and a male figure carved in round-bump. Decorative engravings adjoin with a hooked beak evoking the bird. According to Gabriel Massa and Chantal Dewé, the concentric circles symbolize the original sacred wells, the triangles the footprints of the antelopes, and the curved hooks the calao, an animal associated with divination. Dry and abraded matte patina. The African art sculptures of the Bobo, Bwa, Kurumba and Mossi, living in Burkina Faso, frequently pick up and combine stylized elements borrowed from humans, animals or insects. It is the spirits of nature that are supposed to determine the well-being and prosperity of an individual, and adversity will be seen as the result of neglect of collective rites. It is therefore during ...
View details Nawantante Bwa Vertical Blade Mask
Reduced version of the large shoulder mask it features a classic decoration of upholstery nails highlighting the reliefs of the sculpture. This type of mask wandered on a pole, the porters hidden under raffia fibers or under fabrics. Beautiful patina of use. Mêlés aux Nalu and Landuman , the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in areas of swamps flooded six months a year. They believe in a creative god called Nagu, Naku, which they do not represent, and which is accompanied by a male spirit whose name is Somtup. Apart from the famous Nimba mask, they have created a powerful mask, hybrid snake, gazelle, chameleon and crocodile, with the aim of communicating with the spirits of the forest. The face of the Baga Nimba mask is characterized by a buzzed nose evoking a bird's beak, ...
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Large-scale traditional mask, from the north of the island of New Ireland, in Papua New Guinea, Oceania. It was used as part of Malagan rites, commemoration of the dead, or for semi-secular ceremonies. This type of mask was not necessarily worn, but exhibited.
Framed by pendant earrings, the face, of great expressive force, offers a wide open, toothed mouth, hollowed out half-moon eyes. The impressive crested headdress develops on a wickerwork frame and consists of a raffia crest, underlined on either side by braids of vegetable fibers fixed in parallel, then by a trim of human hair. The hairstyle refers to that, partially shaved, of young boys during the period of mourning. A matte polychrome paint comes in various patterns on the surface of the mask.
View details Tatanua Mask
This African mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society, accessible to men and women. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality. Offering certain animal elements such as ears placed high up, this mask has the particularity of being surrounded by a border in relief, suggesting fur or a beard. The deeply sunken globes, encrusted with residual kaolin, reveal almond-shaped eyelids. The jaw places the mouth in projection.
Locally grainy satin patina.
Height on base: 42 cm.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the ...
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French African tribal art collection.
Accompanying the rites of circumcision in the Ivindo valley, this rare mask bearing a high blade crest is laterally extended by excrescences which frame a heart-shaped face, and is divided into two tones. The colors are enhanced with a clear pastillage evoking the panther. The role of the mask was to entertain or impress by begging for donations for young guests at ceremonies. The wearer's costume was made of raffia fibers.
Beneath arches in relief, protruding eyelids shelter perforations arranged for vision. The long triangular nose draws the eye to a narrow, white-lipped mouth.
Use erosions and abrasions.
Velvety matte patina.
The Mahongwe, Obamba, Shamayé and Sango form with the Kota a group with similar rites and ...
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Mambila animal masks are made up of variously associated zoomorphic elements. Fantastic-looking sculptures result from this, such as this mask flanked by horns, horizontal ears, protruding eyes, and a jaw shaped like a blade or a toothed beak.
Height on base: 61 cm.
Crusty matte patina, erosions.
Despite their small numbers, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere Nor) settled in the northwest of the Cameroon but especially on a high plateau on the Nigerian side, have created a large number of easily identifiable masks and statues such as the Tadep statues with a heart-shaped face. A large production of terracotta objects testifies to the influence of the ancient Sao civilization further north, towards Chad. The masks intervene during the dances linked to the two rites ...
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Witnesses to the traditions of the Hopi Indian peoples of Arizona, the sculpted Katsinam objects (song. Kachina) are expressed during traditional dances accompanying the annual festivals in favor of the rain.
This semi-cylindrical Hopi-type mask bears colored patterns edged in black, the choice of colors of which is not insignificant because it indicates the nature of the spirit represented. Large ears are set on either side of the volume of the face, while a tubular mouth forms a protrusion.
The patina is matte, velvety and grainy, desiccation cracks.
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The Galoa (or Galwa) live downstream from Lambaréné on the Ogooué River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. They are called "people of the lake". They produced masks called Okouyi, Okukwé, used by initiatory societies to reveal witchcraft and their authors through divination.
Several neighboring ethnic groups, including the Adouma and the Kota, use flat areas of contrasting colors in Gabon, including kaolin supposed to have apotropaic properties.
The groups of Gabon practice the worship of the bwiti, worship of the ancestors, and their relics are surmounted by a sculpture acting as a watchman. The Tsogho also produced a variety of masks comparable to those of their neighbors in the Ogooué basin.
Height on base: 93 cm (reduction on request)
Velvety matte patina. Abrasions from use.
View details Galoa
The polychrome mask is surmounted by a basketwork structure draped in textile painted with geometric patterns. This headdress ends in four lobes arranged in a corolla. A handle, concealed by the thick raffia adornment, allows you to carry everything.
Neighbors of the Yaka and the Kongo in the west of the former Zaire, the Zombo fear, like the Kongo clans, the god named Nzambi. Their diviners use fetishes similar to those of the Kongo, the ceremonies associated with the initiation rites, however, stem from Yaka traditions.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that results from it are nowadays an opportunity for the Yaka to ...
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This piece is accompanied by a certificate from Mr. Pierre Vérité dating from 1985 (photo). From a basketry base rises a head, an ideal of feminine beauty for the Ejagham. The wooden structure is covered with animal skin, usually antelope. The extravagant headdress composed of four volute outgrowths would represent the hair extensions of young girls at the end of their period of initiatory reclusion.
The dancer's costume was made up of a large lattice of raffia cords and, more recently, of cotton fabric. The masks were coated with palm oil before use, and placed in daylight so that the leather would soften and take on a satisfactory sheen.
Leopard societies, such as the male Kpe, Ngbe society among the Aro, used this crest design for initiation ceremonies or funerals of association ...
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Divided into different areas of contrasting colors, this mask with an unusual structure offers a long rectangular nose fitting the volume of the forehead. Large cavities make up the look, a fine line marks the mouth in the lower end. The Quai Branly museum has a similar example. This type of igbo-ada mask appears during the dry season to highlight notions of virility. Abraded matte patina. Erosions and gaps.
The Igbo are settled in the southern Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The Ada are an Igbo subgroup established in southeastern Nigeria.
They managed to combine a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group. Their political system is complex and little known. The village is the most important social unit, the smallest being the extended ...
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African mask flanked by a transverse crest, all adorned with triangular motifs symbolizing magic amulets.
These masks are repainted with each new dance season. Common characteristics are to be noted with certain helmet-masks of the Markha, another Mandinka ethnic group.
These heavy masks, whose design usually revolves around a helmet with a crest or horned growths, occurred during agricultural rituals in order to restore the balance of the earth. Their significance was revealed during the initiation of young boys.
A Mandingo people, most of whom live in eastern Burkina Faso, but also in southern Mali, the culture of the Bobo Fing is similar to that of the Bambara. In each village altars are erected under the authority of the blacksmiths, priests of the cult of Dwo, ...
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This ancient example is reminiscent of African Dan masks, but its features are more accentuated. A band of kaolin originally covered the eyes. Thick particles remain on the surface. Embellished with various accessories, he would embody a fearsome spirit, a supernatural power, that of the forest. It would appear equipped with many accessories, during night outings, illuminated by the light of torches.
The Wé produced African masks that are the result of interlocking stylistic forms. The Dan , in the north, and the Wé of the south (the Krou group including the Guéré , the Wobé of the northeast, and the Wé of Liberia called Kran or Khran), made use of frequent borrowing due to their proximity. The elements of the bush, protruding volumes of the forehead,,horns and ...
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The sculptor took up and adapted with talent the traditional elements of the Dan African mask named Déanglé, enlivening it with a realistic physiognomy. Instead of a raffia hairpiece, braids have been sculpted.
Black satin patina, abrasions, losses. Height on base: 31 cm.
The Dan masks, of various designs, generally occur during very theatrical entertainment parties where women play a preponderant role. The so-called "mocking" mask called Déanglé defines an ideal of beauty and benevolence because it is sculpted in honor of the young girls of the village or famous men.
In general, dan masks also have the particularity of not being representations of bush spirits but of actually being their incarnation.
The Dan live in western Côte d'Ivoire, but also in Liberia. Also called Yacouba, ...
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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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Variant of zoomorphic masks associated with the gorilla ancestor, worn by the warlord to assert his authority. The creative construction favors the cranial block, a thick nose, and the protuberance of the mouth.
Satin black patina. Cracks, small accidents.
Height on base: 45 cm.
Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwélé , Bakwélé , live in the forest on the northern border of the Republic of Congo. They live from hunting, agriculture and metallurgy. Practicing the cult called Bwété borrowed from the Ngwyes, which was accompanied by obligatory initiation rites, they used at the end of the ceremonies the masks ekuk evoking the antelope whose horns meet in a loop under the chin. The blood of the antelope was also used among the Kwélé for therapeutic purposes. Most ethnicity masks are ...
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Built on a hem-type structure with human features, a round-bump figure, with undersized legs and flanked by two fins with arms, stretches high. The long neck has regular annelures, and the head is covered with two mats curved backwards. Thick, crusty dark patina. Slight desication cracks. The Kaka ethnic group, whose name fulani comes from German settlers, is located in a border area between Nigeria and Cameroon. Their statuary shows some influence from other ethnic groups such as the Mumuye, whose statues also have short, flexed legs topped with a slender body. Their very thick and crusty patina, their wide feet and the wide open mouth are however typical features to distinguish them from neighbouring ethnic groups. The function of these objects is little documented.
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The asymmetry of long split eyelids delimiting the oblique plane of the face gives a fascinating character to this Songye mask. The lines in relief are concentrated under a high crest, the upper volume of the mask being privileged. Abraded matte patina, irregular surface and desication cracks.
Height on base: 57 cm.
Three types of Kifwebe masks are listed: the masculine (kilume) generally with a high crest, the feminine (kikashi) would present a more modest or even absent crest, and finally the largest embodying power (kia ndoshi). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to which they are related through common ancestors. Also used by the Luba, worn with a long ...
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Collection of French tribal art.
Realistic mask adapted to the human face, seeking to reproduce, among the range of celebrities, characters or mythical heroes involved in Mexican theatrical dances and carnivals, the features of an ancient actor named Pedro Infante, famous in Mexican culture.
The surface is carefully painted with brilliant polychrome tones.
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