Tribal Art, online sale of tribal art, primitive art and primitive art
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The site Art Tribal offers a wide selection of tribal art objects, masks, statues, bronzes and everyday objects. All these tribal works are rigorously selected from international private collections.

Dogon figure
Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon figure

Statuette representing a kneeling hermaphrodite figure, hands resting on his thighs. This type of sculpture associated with an individual cult adorned the Dogon family altar. Thick and dense grainy patina in greyish browns.
Carved for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues can also be the object of worship by the entire community. Their functions remain little known, however. In parallel with Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon, the Wagem, the cult of the ancestors under the authority of the patriarch, the Binou invoking the world of the spirits and directed by the priest of the Binou, and the society of the masks concerning funerals.

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Dogon monkey mask
Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

Rare example of an African mask of the Dogons featuring a monkey. On a rectangular structure, the features form a low relief, emphasizing by contrast the forehead and the ears. The beautiful old patina reveals the veining of a light wood, enhanced by the pinkish ochre pigments of certain organs. Cracks and abrasions of use. 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 ...

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Senoufo maternity statuette
Tribal art > African Maternity > Senoufo statuette

The face is imbued with solemnity for this female figure with a neck and tubular limbs, as if frozen in a seated posture, supporting with her clasped hands the child clinging to her back. This piece was probably dedicated to a family liturgical practice, in relation to fertility. Thick blackish patina, residual crusty deposits. One foot is missing. The Senoufo, the name given to them by the French colonists, are mainly composed of farmers who are scattered between Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, and Burkina Faso. Councils of elders, led by an elected chief, administer Senoufo villages. Governed by matrilineal traditions, they are composed of clusters of dwellings named katiolo. Each has its own Poro association that initiates young boys from the age of seven in a succession of three cycles ...

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Tabouret guéridon Hemba/ Luba Kihona
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Tribal art > African Chair > Tabouret Hemba

Supporting the circular tray of a seat with her fingers placed in a fan shape, a female figure forms the "receptacle of a deceased sovereign chief" (Luba, Roberts). Carved in the style of the "master of Buli" in the Hemba territory, she has a characteristic face, with large eye sockets and prominent cheekbones. Dark patina with orange highlights, minimal cracks. The prominent scarifications, in spikes, dot the bust where the umbilicus forms the "center of the world" associated with the lineage, and on the lower abdomen, horizontal, they symbolize fertility. This stool named lupona ,or kioni or kipona , kiona and again kitenta ("seat of authority"), according to the sources, constitutes the meeting point of the ruler, his people, and the protective spirits and ancestors, where past ...

Bambara, Bamana mask
Tribal art > African mask > Bamana mask

This African Bambara mask is topped by a stylized crest. The eyes, framed by circular ears, are set under a bulbous forehead decorated with fine scarified patterns, while an imposing busted nose dominates narrow prominent lips.
The smooth, lustrous patina is adjacent to residues encrusted with light pigments.
Native restoration at the top.
The Bambara , Bamana , are found in central and southern Mali. The name means "unbeliever" and was given to them by the Muslims. They belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and Malinke. Animists, they also believe in the existence of a creator god generically called Ngala, who has 266 sacred attributes.
His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, master of the Word, who gave ...

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Ifé Yoruba commemorative head in bronze
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Tribal art > African bronze > Ifé bronze

Figurative bronze depicting the Oni, king of Ife the cradle city of the Yoruba, wearing a highly detailed crown. Nowadays the king of Ifé wears a similar badge of office, formed by a vertical braided segment ending in a pointed bulge. Such a head was attached to the top of a dressed wooden effigy to represent the deceased king at the funeral and then buried after the ceremony in a shrine near the palace. Grainy texture, greenish-black patina encrusted with ochre. The city of Ifé in Nigeria was in the 15th century the center of a powerful forest state west of the Niger Delta. The work of bronze was a prerogative of the king "oni", according to the technique of lost wax. These prestigious objects embodying the rulers were placed on the royal altars for ceremonial use. It would be an ...

Solongo Kongo fetish statue
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Tribal art > African fetish > Solongo Fetish

Power fetishes in African art.
This naturalist figure with an aggressive gesture has an oval face characteristic of the Solongo of Angola, the latter supplying the Kongo clans. The glassy gaze of the pupils at the pinhead is wide open, which is the prerogative of an elder. Indeed, only middle-aged people can stare at us with such insistence in order to alert us to problems or odds. (The Kongo Gesture)
Placed on the abdomen, in a quadrangular cavity blocked by a glass, ingredients constitute a magical charge, whose iron nails that lard the piece strengthen the power. Clay libatory residues clumped on the surface, locally draped with textile strips.
Patine mate, kaolin libation residues.

In the Kongo kingdom, nganga took care of the rituals by activating a ...

Senoufo sculpted figure from Côte d Ivoire
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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 ...

Dogon Tellem statue
Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon statue

This traditional African art sculpture, a wooden form from which elements of a couple emerge, was placed on the family altar Tiré Kabou. African tribal statues of the Dogon can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the deceased, are placed on ancestor altars and participate in various rituals including those of the seed and harvest periods. Their functions, however, remain little known. Influenced stylistically by the Tellem (or "those who were before" in the Dogon language) whom they replaced in the Bandiagara region from the 15th century, the Dogon adopted a similar vertical position in their statuary. Inheritors of the works such asm abandoned in the ...

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Statue of Congo Nkishi
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue of Congo

Removable arms, fixed horizontally, give a defensive attitude to this Kongo fetish. It is also fitted with an abdominal cavity. Magical ingredients (bilongo), for therapeutic or protective purposes, were to be introduced by the nganga . The Vili produced a variety of sculptures for individual use nkisi , to which multiple virtues were attributed. Wide-eyed eyes symbolize foresight in a face wearing a flat hat. A red textile, highlighted with a nailing, drapes the bust, abdomen and skirt. Patine mate.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo , led by King ntotela. Their kingdom reached its peak in the 16th century with the ivory, copper and slave trade. Similarly, beliefs and traditions, they produced a statuary ...

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Dogon attic shutter
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Tribal art > Door shutter > Dogon shutter

The closing systems of the Sudanese regions in African art. This panel is formed by an assembly of two vertical boards. Anthropomorphic figures, highly graphic, associated with the rich Dogon cosmogony, enliven the naturally desiccated surface. The figures may symbolize previous generations, mythical ancestors, but the owners of the attic also frequently appear. Light patina. The motifs on doors in Mali, apart from their decorative value, are intended to dissuade intruders, whether human or animal, from entering. The locks and doors are carved in wood chosen according to the function of the building in which they will be used, because each plant is attributed particular virtues.

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Baule Ndoma mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Baule Ndoma mask

This distinctive face of African masks of young girls presents, in the center of the heart-shaped eyebrow arch marked with the ngole sign, a long nasal bridge surmounting a hollowed-out mouth that seems to emit a breath. Its headdress divided into several braided shells is finely striated. This ancient piece of tribal art has an oiled patina, particularly polished in places, and granular remains. Reddish pigments appear around the raised rhombuses representing the scarifications. This mask shows abrasions from wear and tear, and the holes used to attach the raffia finery are visibly eroded by use.  These Baule portrait masks, 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 ...

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Songye Kifwebe Kilume mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Songye mask

Incised with striations that emphasize the arc of the eyelids and then extend horizontally across the temples, this mask is also engraved with broken lines on the lower 2/3. A wide black band runs from the mouth to the neck, responding to the dark-tinted organs and reinforcing the visual aspect of the latter.
Velvety smooth patina, abraded on protrusions. Desiccation cracks.  Three types of African Kifwebe masks are listed: the male (kilume) generally with a high crest, the female (kikashi) would present a more modest crest or even absent, and finally the largest incarnating power (kia ndoshi). In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle on the left bank of the Lualaba. Their society is organized in a patriarchal manner. Their history is ...

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Baga Sibondel mask
Tribal art > African mask > Baga mask

Rare sculpture formed by a composite assembly of removable characters, embedded in a wrought case. The sides of the latter, flanked by a cheerful hare's head as a "figurehead", are artistically decorated with decorative motifs. Female figures, Muslims, characters perched on a motorcycle, and bird figures are cheerfully displayed on the platform surrounded by crenellated borders. The whole, a variant of the bird mask still appearing today, was generally made of cheese wood. Polychrome matt patina. Mixed with the Nalu and Landuman, the Baga live along the coast of Guinea-Bissau in swampy areas that are flooded six months a year. These Baga groups, who live on the coast and live from rice cultivation, are made up of seven sub-groups, including the Baga Kalum, Bulongic, Baga Sitem, Baga ...

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Mossi Biga fertility charm
Tribal art > African fetish > Biga doll

Anthropomorphic figure in bronze evoking a young Mossi woman. A ritual statuette supposed to help in conception, it was made in metal by the Mossi blacksmith, who was also in charge of the carved wooden examples. The use of dolls by young African women is not exclusively within the context of initiation. When menstruation appears, the young girl is considered as a potential mother. In many ethnic groups, the search for fertility is then done through initiation rites. Wooden figures are then carved, some reflecting both genders, often dressed in beads and clothes. During the period of seclusion, the doll, which becomes a child that requires daily feeding, washing and anointing, becomes the girl's only companion. After the initiation, they will be carried on the back of the women, or ...

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Bambara Nyeleni callipyge statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Bambara statue

An austere, angular face, overlooking a body articulated around globular masses, such is this statue Bambara, named 'little favorite', Nyeleni in Bambara. Black greasy patina, ochre inlays. Slight cracks and abrasions.
The Bambara of central and southern Mali belong to the large Mande group, like the Soninke and Malinke. They believe in the existence of a creative god generically called Ngala and who maintains the order of the universe. Its existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who has given all the qualities to men and who grows the fruits of the earth. Large masked festivals close the initiation rites of the association dyo and the ritual of gwan s bambara in the south of the Bambara country. Spread over a seven-year period for men, they are less demanding ...

Mask Lumbu, Loumbo, Mbumba
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Tribal art > African mask > Lumbu Mask

Ex-collection of Belgian African tribal art.

Within the group named Shira ,the Lumbu Loumbu, Balumbu, of Bantu origin and originating from the Congo kingdom, settled on the coastal part of Gabon, and in the Republic Congo, in the middle Ogooue. They keep the bones of their ancestors in reliquary baskets decorated with statuettes and other prestigious objects. This rare mask with a face bleached with kaolin, evocation of a dead woman, was used during the Okuyi dance and ancestor worship, ritual practices they shared with the Punu. The face of this ancient mask has no scarification, the eyes are glazed like the works of the Kongo clans, the nose is flat, the mouth has a prominent lower lip, and the chin is pointed. The hair is separated on both sides by a thick braided parting. ...

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Dogon Gomintogo mask
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Tribal art > African mask > Dogon mask

The Domintogo masks, with their high ears, were carved in reference to a deer that a farmer had killed. To protect himself from the vengeance of his nyama , or spirit, a wooden mask was made on the advice of the diviner. The masks were regularly repainted on the occasion of new celebrations, in this case using natural ochre pigments and a black pastillage on a cream background. Abrasions.
The Dogon people are renowned in African art for the myths and beliefs relating to their cosmogony.
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). They produce more than 80 types of masks, of which the best known are the ...

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Dogon couple of ancestors
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Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon statue

These protective mythical figures probably evoke the primordial couple or mythical twins, associated with the Nommos, at the origin of Dogon creation. Sitting on a semicircular base, they present a narrow morphology contrasting with a shell-like chest. The heads show a Bambara influence. Thick granular patina, satin surface. Ochre residue, powdery, on the base. Carved for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues can also be the object of worship by the entire community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. However, little is known about their functions. In parallel with Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lebe, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon, the Wagem, ancestor ...

Chamba Figure Couple
Tribal art > African Statues > Statues Chamba

Emblems of male associations, these narrow figures that a common base connects stand vertically. The diamond-shaped arms envelop a tubular bust surmounted by short crenellated legs. The neck rises towards a head with prominent features, wearing a rounded crest like a helmet. The crest is extended by braids that frame the face. Granular black patina, locally flaked.
Better known for their buffalo masks, the Chamba communicated with the spirit world through these statues. However, their functions remain little known. Settled since the seventeenth century on the southern bank of the Benue River in Nigeria, coming from the mountainous regions of the Cameroonian borders, the Chamba resisted the conquest attempts of the Fulani, nomads who settled in large numbers in northern ...

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Masque Igbo Agbogo Mwo
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Tribal art > African mask > Igbo Mask

This African Igbo mask, named Ikorodo in the Nsukka region of southern Nigeria, glorifies youth and beauty through narrow eye slits, a face with sharp white coated features, scarification and tattoos and a high headdress. br> The white color of the agbo-gho-mmwo mask refers to ancestral spirits, these masks frequently accompany the deceased during funeral rites. Indeed, mmwo means "spirit of the dead", and more particularly of young girls, although it is worn by young men to honor the spirit of the earth. Abraded matte patina.
The Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria. They have 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 largest social ...

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