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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.


Baga Banda-kumbaduba mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Baga mask

Unusual volume for this version of the Banda mask used for protective purposes, formerly used by the initiates of male secret societies during their initiation rites and funerals. It was also supposed to protect young circumcised men from evil influences. This mask dances to the sound of a three-slit drum, imitating all the attitudes of the animals represented. An ancient mask with an impressive jaw, surmounted by horns and decorated with a saurian figure, it was intended to communicate with the spirits of the forest, and was worn at an angle on the head. Matte polychromy locally flaked. Erosions, cracks and marks of use.
Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coasts of Guinea-Bissau in swampy areas that are flooded six months of the year. They believe in a ...


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Large Pende Giwoyo Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Pende Mask

Called Kiwoyo with the Eastern Pende, Giwoyo ch those of the Centre, this african mask extended from a chin strap was usually worn in a cap over a soft hat, tumba . Most of the masks of the Central Pende, sculpted by the dancers, were worn tilted on the forehead, to be seen in profile. Originally associated with the deceased lying on his diaper, this mask was associated with funeral rituals. Nowadays he participates in peaceful and festive ceremonies. This rare and voluminous variant of kiwoyo, with widely split triangular eyelids, nevertheless forms a hem mask. It is decorated with large lozenges on which remain color pigments. Locally abraded velvety patina.

The seed live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the have settled on the banks of the Kasai river downstream of ...


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Ogoni mask with articulated jaw
Tribal art > African mask > Ogoni mask

Ex Belgian African tribal art collection. Attached with a wicker clamp, the lower jaw of the mask, which would embody an ancestor or a high-ranking character, can be articulated, revealing wooden sticks representing a dentition. Two-tone satin patina. Height with base: 43 cm.


The Ogoni live along the coast of Nigeria, near the mouth of the Cross-River, south of the Igbo and west of the Ibibio. Their carvings vary from village to village, but are primarily renowned for their jointed jaw masks such as some Ekpo Ibibio masks. Their masks were usually worn at funerals, festivities accompanying planting and harvesting, but also more recently to welcome distinguished guests. Acrobatic demonstrations linked to the karikpo celebration, and accompanied by the kere karikpo ...


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390.00

Pende mask
Tribal art > African mask > Pende mask

African mask of initiation, Mbuya, endowed with a look with large protruding eyelids giving it a surprisingly expressive physiognomy. Velvety and abraded matte patina. Height on base: 34 cm. The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende 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 difficult to differentiate without their costume, including the chief fumu or ufumu, the diviner and his wife, the prostitute,the jester, tundu , the possessed, etc... ...


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360.00

Punu / Shira Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Punu Mask

Lacking scarifications and a beautiful sobriety, this mask offers a face with a helmet shell extended with thick jugular mats. The bulging, arched eyelids reflect the pattern of the eyebrows, while a flat nose rises above a protruding mouth to the regular lips. These hairstyles come in different forms and illustrate women's fashion during the 19th century in Gabon. This mask was intended to establish a link with the world of spirits and ancestors to which were attributed protective and beneficial virtues. Satin patina, glossy, dark brown and light golden brown. Abrasions..
The okuyi masks were displayed during rituals with very ancient origins in which dancers mounted on stilts agitated in order to invoke the spirit of a deceased with a mask depicting a beautiful young woman.


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Dan mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Dan mask

Deangled mask whose curved, elegant reliefs characterize the Dan sculpture. Black glossy patina. Misses on the contours.
Height on base : 37 cm. It is following dreams in which the spirits would manifest themselves that the masks were sculpted according to precise indications, in order to be honored through their appearances. The Dan masks, of varied workmanship, are generally performed during very theatrical entertainment festivals where women play a predominant role. The "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 of renowned men. Each mask had a name linked to its function. Also used during circumcision rites, they appear in the company of singing masks gle sö and large ...


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Kumu, Komo, Ituri mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Kumu mask

Among first art masks, this African mask named Nsembu occurred in male-female pairs, and was used by the Nkunda society of diviners among the clans living in the northern Ituri region.
A polychrome pastillage, a reference to the animal world and to the motifs that adorn the bodies on the occasion of initiation rites, adorns the surface.
Glossy patina. Misses. br /> Height on base : 43 cm.
The Kumu, Bakumu, Komo, live mainly in the northeast and center in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Their Bantu language is Komo or Kikomo . Several ethnic groups are closely intertwined, with similar associations: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko. Their artistic production also has great similarities with that of the Metoko and Lengola. Their divination masks were ...


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Igbo Ikorodo mask
Tribal art > African mask > Igbo mask

The voluminous headdresses of Ikorodo masks in African art from Nigeria.
This African Igbo mask named Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria glorifies youth and beauty, thanks to narrow slits for the eyes, a sharp-featured face plastered with white, scarification and tattoos. The architectural headdress, composed of arched elements topped with a dome, stretches high.
The white color of the agbo-gho-mmwo mask refers to ancestral spirits, as these masks frequently accompany the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means "spirit of the dead," specifically of young girls, although it is worn by young men to honor the spirit of the land. The headdress is reminiscent of the ancient female headdress adorned with brass pieces.
Grainy matte patina, ...


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490.00

Dogon Ka mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Among Dogon animal masks, masks associated with the antelope are found in slightly different aspects. One interpretation of the mask is that it plays a role similar to the Ci Wara of the Bamana, in connection with mythical beings of creation.
Velvety patina of use, residual pinkish and bluish pigments still perceptible among traces of kaolin. Cracks of desiccation. Height on base : 78 cm. 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, ...


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750.00

Gelede Yoruba mask
Tribal art > African mask > Gelede mask

Crest carved in the shape of a head with a long cylinder around the face. Its extremities rest laterally Its ends rest laterally. Partially cracked polychrome crusty patina. Cracks of desiccation.
The Gelede cult is a contemporary heritage, based on ancestral traditions: the Unesco made it part of the ICH ( Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity) in 2008 . Concerning the Gelede ceremonies, practiced mostly in the western Yoruba kingdoms, the masks are built on the same principle: a face (of the mask-heaven type) and a scene that develops on top of the mask. These are used in masquerades dedicated to the "Supreme Mother"Iya ...


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490.00

Fang Ngil mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Fang mask

Designed to unmask sorcerers, this large mask, generally whitened with kaolin, sculpted on the eve of the ceremonies, expresses the desire to capture the mysteries of the night and to intimidate the harmful powers. Accompanied by words, gestures, dances and sacrifices, it was also used during initiations out of sight of the profane. Velvety ochre matt patina. Lower contour eroded. br> The appearance of these masks, generally coated with kaolin (the white color evokes the power of the ancestors), in the middle of the night, could cause fright. This type of mask was used by the Ngil male society which no longer exists today. This secret society was in charge of initiations and fought against witchcraft. The ngil was a rite of purifying fire symbolized by the gorilla. As a ...


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Pende Phumbu a Mfumu mask
Tribal art > African mask > Pende mask

A facial mask carved from a single piece, this mask dances only on very rare occasions and is kept safe in the chief's ritual house.
Pumbu a fumu , or Phumbu a Mfumu , represents the warlike nature of the chief: two huge tubular eyes protrude while the sharply raised eyebrows suggest anger. The lips opening onto carved teeth accentuate this effect. We also note pointed ears in reference to felines. Triangular patterns alternate.

The Pende westerners live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the easterners 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 , ...


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680.00

Ejagham Ekoi Crest mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Ejagham mask

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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Kwele Ekuk, Pipibudze mask
Tribal art > African mask > Kwele mask

Traditional African mask from Gabon with a concave, heart-shaped face, arched eyelids and a short, triangular nose. Generally hidden, the mouth is drawn here in a thin incision in the dark area of the face. Depending on the presence of horns and their arrangement, the masks are called pipibudzé , Ekuku zokou , etc...and are associated with ancestors or forest spirits, " ekuk ". Misses on the contours.
Thick crusty patina, locally chipped. Restoration on a horn.
Height on base : 61 cm. Tribe of the Kota group, the Kwele, Bakwele, 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 ...


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750.00

Mende Bundu Sowei mask
Tribal art > African mask > Mende mask

The sowei form an idealized representation of female beauty as seen through the lens of Mende culture. Carved by men and worn by women, they embody water spirits. This African Mende mask is an example of the type of masks named bundu most important among the Mende. It has a high domed forehead occupying the upper half of the face, with the features concentrated in the lower area. The thick rings of the neck and nape are associated with an abundance of flesh, symbolizing prosperity. Painted black or stained with a leaf wash, the mask was then rubbed with palm oil. Smooth satin patina. Erosions at the base. The Mende, Vaï and Gola cultures of Sierra Leone, Liberia and the west coast of Guinea are known in African art for their helmet masks, particularly those of the female ...


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490.00

Pende Mbuya mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Pende mask

This African mask of initiation, Mbuya, emanates from the Pende of the West whose Yaka influence is notable in the slightly upturned nose facture.
Featuring large slit eyes, it recalls the Pende custom of not staring in public. This African Pende mask sports a headdress made of cloth and raffia fibers extended with a cloth hood, and a chin strap.
Total height on base: 46 cm.
The Western Pende live on the banks of the Kwilu, while the Eastern Pende have settled on the banks of the Kasai downstream from Tshikapa. The influences of the neighboring ethnic groups, Mbla, Suku, Wongo, Leele, Kuba, and Salampasu have been imprinted on their extensive tribal art sculpture. Within this diversity the Mbuya masks, realistic, produced every ten years, have a festive ...


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Giant mask Suku Kakuungu
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Tribal art > African mask > Kakuungu mask

The large African suku kakuungu masks are normally accompanied by a voluminous raffia beard and headdress. This large face with misshapen features terrorized the audience. With jowls, it is divided into contrasting tones. Abraded matt patina.
The Suku and Yaka ethnic groups recognize common origins and have the same social structure and similar cultural practices. They can only be differentiated by their stylistic variations. The mukanda is the name given to the set of rites around the initiation ceremony of young pubescents, consecrating the end of childhood and shared by many communities.
The suku kakungu masks are reputed to be among the largest masks in Black Africa. Their exaggerated features, swollen and hanging cheeks, massive features and prominent chin were meant to ...


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Baga Bansonyi Snake Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Snake Baga

This African mask features a naja snake with dilated pupils. Losangic motifs of a now-extinct polychromy adorn its surface. Patina of matte and velvety use, locally abraded. Old room with granular residue.
As african serpentiform initiation group used mainly by Bulongic (Kifinda village), a subgroup Baga on Guinean coastline, its size can be as large as 2.50 m. These masks were divided into two groups bearing the names Mosolo kombo and Sangaran , each with specific functions. Their design took shape in an esoteric context, at night in the forest. Privileges of initiated men, embodying a spiritual entity, the Baga Sangaran masks attended only circumcision, every 24 years according to the ethnologist Denise Paulme. During some dances the mask was placed on the head, balanced by a ...


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Bamana Buffalo Mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Bambara Mask

This large animal mask, not subject to initiation rites, offers a nice balance of volumes. It is in the Bougoumi region that villagers gather each year to celebrate the end of the dry season, through masked dances and abundant consumption of beer and palm wine. This mask is the first to come on stage before other zoomorphic masks. Old patina, smooth and locally abraded. Indigenous restorations using metal sheets. Slight impacts.
Total top on a pedestal: 85 cm.
in central and southern Mali, in a savannah area, the Bambara, Bamana (c) or unbelievers, as the Muslims have named them, belong to the great Mande group, along with the Soninke and Malinke. Mostly farmers, but also herders, they make up the largest ethnic group in Mali. The groups of craftsmen bambara nyamakala , more ...


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Dogon Dege black monkey mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Heavy stylized mask associated with monkey. The projecting forehead, flanked by ears, houses a concave space incised with slits for the eyes. Horizontal elements indicate the jaw. Oiled, velvety surface.
Erosions.
The Ko mask of the Dogon is one of three types of monkey masks: Dege figures a baboon, and the Ko and Omono masks depict thrush monkeys .
The monkeys feed on the fruit of the baobab tree and the ears of millet that they steal from the fields. This tribal mask was worn with a skirt made of sansevière fibers that concealed the dancer . The dancer's choreography was accompanied by warnings.
More than eighty types of Dogon masks are listed, of which the best known are the Kanaga, Sirigé, Satimbé, Walu. Most of them are used by the circumcised ...


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650.00

Goma Butende mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Goma mask

Influenced by the Bembe, the Goma produced masks with large, often bleached orbits. This flat African mask, associated with the initiation and circumcision rituals of the Butende, has ears that evoke the barn owl. Missing on the lower rim. Cracks of desiccation. Two-tone oiled patina. Height on base : 28 cm. The Bembe ethnic group is a Luba branch that left the Congo in the 18th century to settle near Tanzania and Burundi. Their society and artistic tendencies are marked by the influence of their neighboring ethnic groups in the Lake Tanganyika region, the Lega, the Buyu, the Goma, etc. Indeed, like the Lega, the Bembe had a Bwami association responsible for initiation and structuring the society, but if the Bwami was exclusive among the Lega, other "bukabo" or "buhabo" ...


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