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Tribal art - Usual african items:

African everyday objects have become true works of art for Westerners. Used for ritual, ceremonial, or purely customary purposes on the African continent. They have never known the European artistic attraction, within the African population.


Tsogho Reliquary Box
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Tribal art > African Jar > Tsogho 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 ...


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Sickle Knife Banda
Tribal art > African Currencies > Banda Sickle

In African tribal art, throwing weapons and parade weapons were primitive currencies dedicated to commercial and social exchanges.
These objects in similar forms are found among the Gobu, the Mbugu, the Banda. According to the ethnic group the names vary: Bo, Nguindza or Guindza gbo as among the Banda.

Their shape places them in the category of "parade axes". Some more compact shapes also served as throwing knives.

The older ones will be made from a fairly light forged metal with a bare handle. The shapes and size vary from place to place.

This specimen has a handle entirely sheathed in copper wire, and the blade has discreet incisions and decorative hatching associated with human scarifications. The patina is grainy and velvety.


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450.00

Igitembe Tutsi cuff
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Tribal art > Jewels > Bracelet Tutsi

This functional adornment for archers was worn to the left to protect the forearm from bumps. In Rwanda, the Tutsi used a herb-covered pad, so wooden protections called igitembe were rare. Our model has an internal circumference of 8 cm, and has three rectangular metal inlays on each side. The surface of the wood is abraded by use. A crack runs through the center of the bracelet.
nomadic People, the Tutsi were particularly decimated by the Islamic slave trade and recurrent infighting. Population groups called "Bantous interlacustres", established between Lake Victoria and the Limpopo River, include the Ganda, Nyoro, Nkole, Soga, Toro, Hima, and the Tutsi Rwanda and Burundi. Their cultures have similarities, as do their artistic production and their everyday objects. The Tutsi raise ...


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Dogon ritual altar Kutugolo
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Dogon altar

Dogon altar, made of a mass of clay in which miniature irons and ladders are stuck. Piece collected in the mid-20th century by Monsieur Arnaud, accompanying Alain Bilot, renowned collector of Dogon art during study trips to Mali. These objects decorated the niches of the Ginnas. ("Dogon" H.Blom , p.234) The Dogon blacksmiths form an endogamous caste among the Dogon called irim. Today they produce weapons, tools, and also work with wood. "Masters of fire" associated in Dogon cosmogony with the primordial beings "Nommo" created by the god Ama, they are also supposed to cure burns. Small metal objects, made using the lost ...

Bamileke Bangwa ritual rattle
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Sonnailes Bangwa

The rich production of African art among the people of the Cameroonian Grassland is illustrated mainly by traditional wood carvings: commemorative sculptures of kings, queens, princesses and titled servants, as well as the parents of twins.
Within the large Bamileke people in western Cameroon, the Bangwa constitute a small kingdom consisting of nine chiefdoms. The influence of the Bamileke on the Bangwa statuary is notable for relatively comparable facial features and morphology.
Typical of Bamileke country, Bangwa statues often represent fertility but also power and fighting spirit. This male figure is indeed camped on bent knees, arms spread from the bust. This dynamic position announces a ritual dance, a calabash in one hand. The figure is adorned with noble attributes, such ...

Game of awale Mangbetu two-headed
Tribal art > Usual african items > Awale Mangbetu

Ex-collection Belgian African tribal art.
Creus of 28 alveoli, this awale game is part of the mancalas family of games. The foot is altered. The figurative motifs, in the form of carved heads, obey the stylistic canonical mangbetu and zande. Clear patina, slightly abraded. Small cracks. Established in the forest in northeastern Zaire, between Bomokandi and the River Uele, the Mangbetu kingdom was expressed through architectural works that fascinated European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments, pottery and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The Mangbetu story was based on the refinement of his court but also on cannibalistic customs. King Mangbetu Munza was so dubbed The cannibal king. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described ...


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780.00

Crucifix Kongo Nkangi kiditu
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Tribal art > African Statues > Kongo Crucifix

Ex. Belgian African tribal art collection.
Among chiefs Kongo in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the crucifix held the place, among the chieftaincy regalia, of a symbol of power the authority. A ceremony at the investiture of the chief required the future ruler to receive from the hands of a dignitary, in a codified ritual, a nkangi kiditu . This badge of power, inspired by ancient Christian crucifixes imported by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, could also have a therapeutic function, and, in addition to various uses, was brandished during funeral ceremonies in which the object was subjected to libations of oil or palm wine.
Desiccation cracks, satin patina.
The cross ...

Ngombe Ngulu execution knife
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Ngombe knife

"Execution" knives are also parade weapons, such as this ngulu whose wooden handle is wrapped with a copper strip. Each side has fine decorative hatching. In northwestern Zaire, south of the Ubangi,live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe of Bantu language. Their neighbors are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various banda groups. They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, among them health and prosperity. Their throwing knives used for hunting were used as currency.
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Royal Hemba sword and its scabbard
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Hemba sword

The carved handle of the sword depicts a forefather singiti whose features appear very finely engraved. The faces are bordered by a frontal diadem and a tenuous beard collar in slight relief. The singiti refer to local chiefs, founders of royal lineages, or warlords. T he sword is engraved with discreet decorative motifs. Very beautiful object with a glossy black-brown patina, kaolin residues. Base on request in addition.
The Hemba, established in southeastern Zaire, on the right bank of the Lualaba, were for a long time subject to the neighboring Luba Empire, which had a definite influence on their culture, religion and art. Ancestor worship, whose effigies have long been attributed to the Luba, is central to hemba society. Genealogy is indeed the guarantor of ...

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Baoule ritual drum
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Tribal art > Djembe TamTam > Baule drum

The object consists of a board supporting a drum whose interior is hollowed out, framed by two pairs of statuettes carved in the round. Decorative geometric motifs adorn the whole. In the Baule belief, there is an invisible universe parallel to ours where every individual is married from birth to a mystical spouse. These characters have their hands in front of their abdomen to underline the importance of the transmission of life. The use of the drum is reserved for the diviner who communicates by this means with the mystical spouse in order to solicit his help or his clemency.

Abrasions, lacks.
About sixty ethnic groups inhabit the Ivory Coast, including the Baule, in the center, Akans from Ghana, people of the savannah, practicing hunting and agriculture ...


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Kongo Nkangi Kiditu crucifix
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Kongo crucifix

Among Kongo chiefs in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the crucifix stood as a symbol of power and authority among chieftaincy regalia. A ceremony at the investiture of the chief required that the future ruler receive from the hands of a dignitary, in a codified ritual, a nkangi kiditu . This badge of power, inspired by ancient Christian crucifixes imported by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century, could also have a therapeutic function, and, in addition to various uses, was brandished at funeral ceremonies during which the object was subjected to libations of oil or palm wine.
The cross would not be a motif specific to the Christian world, as the Kongo considered the four branches to ...

Pende Ceremonial cup
Tribal art > African Jar > Pende cup


Cephalomorphic headdress with a handle, a figurative chief's insignia marked by Tschokwe influence. The headdress would be of the "guhota sanga" style worn around the 1950s . (p.7 "Pende" Z.S. Strother - ed. 5Continents) Black glossy patina.
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 ...


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450.00

Yoruba offering box
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Tribal art > African Jar > Yoruba box

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 ...


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Kirdi beaded cover-up
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Kirdi cover

This refined garment embroidered with glass beads, alternating geometric patterns of contrasting colors, forms a fine but dense texture fringed with cowries. When worn, the ensemble produced a soft clinking sound.
Height on base: 33 cm.
The Kirdi, or "pagans", so called by the Islamized peoples, are established in the far north of Cameroon, on the border with Nigeria. They include the Matakam, Kapsiki, Margui, Mofou, Massa, Toupouri, Fali , Namchi, Bata, Do ayo...  They live from agriculture, fishing and livestock. They live in small independent hamlets. Famous for their terracotta statuettes reminiscent of sao works, they are also known for small leather and metal objects, bead-sewn sex covers and also iron.


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Ngbaka/Togbo prestige horn
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Tribal art > Djembe TamTam > Ngbaka horn

An ovoid head with large concave orbits surmounts this proboscis encrusted with metal strips. A chameleon motif, in relief, emerges on the wall. Among the aerophones, originally carved from antelope horns or the ivory of elephant trunks, this type of side-mouthed trunk was used to produce coded sounds for the purpose of communication within the group, in a context of hunting, rituals around hunting, or to play music supposed to please ancestral spirits during funeral ceremonies. The Ngala, Ngbaka, and neighboring groups produced various musical instruments with human-inspired motifs. Black patina, glossy, erosion and cracks.
Coming from the Banda group, the Togbo originally immigrated from the Lake Chad region to the territories of Ubangi. They rubbed shoulders with the ...


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Luba Ceremonial Pipe
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Tribal art > African tribal pipes in wood or bronze > Pipe Luba

Belgian African art collection.
Represented in a crouching position on the stove of a water pipe made up of a gourd, this female figure luba, a spiritual medium, has an ovoid face with a meditative appearance. The object is lined with twisted copper wires. The headdress, behind a wide headband that reveals a shaved forehead evokes the hairstyles of Luba women at the beginning of the 20th century. The symbolic gesture, with hands placed on the chest, indicates that the secrets of royalty (the bizila) belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries.
T beautiful oiled patina with satin highlights.
Seed smoking, which was widely cultivated in the region, was widespread among the Luba for its therapeutic properties and social use. But medicinal or ...


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Tikar primitive currency
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Tikar Currency

Ex Dutch tribal art collection.
This time in the form of a circular tray with a long handle, this African coin would be associated with the prestige of Tikar chiefs. The handle is decorated with scrolls and spiral metal strips, the patina having adopted a beige tone shaded with rust oxidation. The Tikar inhabit the western part of central Cameroon which is located within the dense secondary mid-altitude forest along the Mbam. Within this ecotone, the "Tikar plain" (named after its occupants) constitutes a depression that backs up respectively to the west and north to the Mbam massif (and its Mapé and Kim tributaries) and the first foothills of the Adamaoua plateau. The structure of the kingdom consists of a large chiefdom subdivided into quarters: the residences of the queens, the ...


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Kuba Ikul Knife
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Ikula Knife

African art and iron work among the Kuba
Severy tribes make up the Kuba group, established between the Sankuru and Kasai rivers: Bushoong, Ngeendé, Binji, Wongo, Kété, etc. Each of them has produced a variety of sculptures, statues, prestigious objects, masks, frequently decorated with geometric patterns.
The Kuba, whose name means " flash " also produced African tools and weapons, including jet knives, which later became transaction values, and heavy swords of war, Ilwoon .
Attribut, the Ikula knife (" of the peace,") is not a weapon but a symbol of social status. This symbol of authority was very little sharpened. The Kuba blacksmiths were able to draw inspiration from the knives of Benin, whose shape is similar, introduced by the Dutch. It was following a royal decree ...


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Loom pulley Baule, Baoulé
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Baule loom

Aesthetics of the everyday for the African art of Ivory Coast.
In Ivory Coast,the objects a priori the most ordinary had to answer criteria of aesthetic order. Furniture, ornaments, utensils, fabrics, are pretext for a refined artistic expression on the part of the sculptors.
The technique of cotton weaving spread to West Africa thanks to the movements of the Dioulas. Before colonization, textiles made of cotton fiber, the latter described as "white gold", were also used as currency. Prestigious ornaments, the woven ceremonial loincloths, sometimes in large numbers, accompanied the chiefs to their graves, among the Kuba, but also among the Baule.
This is a heald pulley stirrup decorated with a janiform sculpted motif. The piece is decorated with geometrical ...


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Ngombe Double Ngulu Execution Knife
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Ngomne Knife

Execution knives are also parade weapons, such as ngulu. In the north-west of Zaire, south of Oubangui, live the 6000 Moswea-Ngombe of Bantu language. Their neighbours are the Ngbandi and the Ngbaka and various groups banda . They knew no god but expected favors from their ancestors, including health and prosperity. Their jet knives used for hunting were used as coins.
For info: .http://www.memoire-africaine.com/armes3.html

Dogon Ritual Sculpture
Tribal art > African fetish > Dogon Altar

Created with great sensitivity, this sculpture, which belonged to a lineage, reflects one of the many facets of the Dogon worldview. The statuette at the top represents the incarnation of an ancestor, the ladder allowing the ascent of spirits to the afterlife. The gradations also form an image of the different stages of an individual's life toward the ultimate goal. The gobo , iron hook, is stuck into the wood, recalling the sacred role of the blacksmith. Grainy sacrificial patina, light chips.
The Dakar-Djibouti mission of 1931, led by Marcel Griaule, was charged with studying in depth the rites of this population established in the region of the Bandiagara cliffs. The Dogon are thought to be composed of several peoples who found refuge there following repeated droughts or ...


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