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Tribal art - African Statues:

In the tradition, the statue allows to represent what is invisible. In bronze in the kingdom of Benin, arms raised towards the sky by the Dogon to invoke rain, fetishes in the Congo, statues are the art of African blacksmiths. Sometimes worked on malleable wood, the statuary represents dolls, twins or even ancestors, with sometimes hard, elongated features and sour contours. The figures are raised, seated, with their arms close to their bodies or towards the heavens.


Dogon figure
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Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon figure

Sculpture illustrating the statuary from the central part of the Bandiagara cliff in Mali, Bombou-toro, and whose morphology presents common details with the so-called "Master of Ogol" works. Bracelets are engraved on the slender arms, patterns associated with body scarifications remain visible. Beautiful satin patina, eroded wood and cracks.
Carved for the most part on order placed by a family, Dogon statues can also be the object of worship on the part of the whole community when they commemorate, for example, the foundation of the village. However, their functions remain little known. Alongside Islam, Dogon religious rites are organized around four main cults: the Lébé, relating to fertility, under the spiritual authority of the Hogon, the Wagem, cult of the ancestors under the ...


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Fipa statue
Tribal art > African Maternity > Fipa statue

African motherhood depicting a character carrying a child. The eyes are encrusted with pearls while large ears frame a neutral countenance. Rough patina, residual ocher encrustations.
This piece of tribal art comes from the northeastern region of Tanzania, bordering Kenya, facing the Indian Ocean, where the Paré, Shamba, Zigua, and Mbugu tribes live. A relative homogeneity characterizes the productions of these groups, recalling some of the Madagascans and Bataks with whom, via maritime trade, contact could once have been established. This sculpture was probably used for didactic purposes during male initiations. She could also embody an ancestor or a spirit. Lit. : "Black African Tribal Art" J.B. Bacquart.


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380.00

Tellem statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Tellem statue

This traditional African art object was made to order by a family and was in this case 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 whom they replaced in the Bandiagara region from the 15th century, the Dogon adopted this same vertical position in their statuary. Inheritors of the Tellem works abandoned in the region, they adopted some of them that they resacralized to use in ...


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Lobi figure
Tribal art > African Statues > Lobi figure

Female statuette whose tip of the chin rests on the bust. The oval head offers large, flat strokes. The straight back reveals an arched buttocks and a slightly protruding abdomen on which the hands rest. The joined, stocky legs disappear into a circular base. The vigorous size, clearing the main planes, is representative of Lobi sculpture. Matte patina imprinted with probably libation residues.
Desication cracks.
This Bateba figure is supposed to embody a spirit of the bush, the Thil, and thus become an intermediary in the fight against sorcerers and all other evil forces. These spirits are represented by wooden or copper sculptures called Bateba (large or small, figurative or abstract, they adopt different attitudes that symbolize the particular power or talent that the ...


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750.00

Songye figure
Tribal art > African fetish > Songye figure

African fetish Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi) of the Songye whose face reproduces the mask of the kifwebe. Meticulously made, the sculpture meets the criteria associated with this type of object, the accessories being supposed to reinforce its effectiveness.
Shiny patina, grainy agglomerates, ocher residues.
These fetishes of protection against various evils would play the role of mediator between god and men. The large sculptures are the collective property of an entire village, and the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family.
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 way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba to which they are ...


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450.00

Yaka awale
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Tribal art > Usual african items > Yaka awale

Sculpted figure depicted kneeling, hands flat, back supporting an awale tray from the mancalas family, composed of thirty-two cells. Stones, seeds, pebbles or even shells formed the pawns. The object can be arranged vertically or horizontally. Satin patina.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of formidable warriors, the Yaka society, now established on the banks of the Waamba in the south west of the DRC (Kasai Occidental), 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 invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using charms linked to the "khosi" institution. The initiation ceremony for young people is called n-khanda, which is found among the ...


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Galoa Reliquary
Tribal art > African Statues > Galoa Reliquary

This sculpted bust, altered by time and insects, adopts a face with the features of the judicial mask of Okukwé society, worn on the occasion of funerals, the birth of twins, or other major events.
Glossy patina, cracks and losses.
The Galoa (or Galwa), a Pounou subgroup, live downstream from Lambarene on the Ogooué River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean. They are called "people of the lake". They also 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, ...


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380.00

Small carved panel Holo Santu nzaambi
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Tribal art > African Statues > Sculpture Holo

This sign was intended for the affliction cults nzaambi , also practiced by the Yaka , rituals that allowed to deal with a problem whose divinatory practices had been able to establish the source. While the Holos were likely inspired by Christian iconography, they honored spirits and not a single god. Often intended to promote hunting, fertility or good health, these sculptures had to be ritually encased with different substances by the interested. The frame is regularly engraved with geometric patterns. Beautiful satin brown patina. Scattered abrasions. Located in democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small ethnic Holo migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango. Hunting and agriculture provide for their livelihood. Neighbouring ...

Kishi Fetish
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Tribal art > African fetish > Kishi Fetish

This statuette is the result of the cooperation between the nganga, the sculptor and the client. Sculpted according to the instructions of the ritual priest, the figure intended for the client is then charged with the bishimba elements intended to counter any evil force. The face is plated with copper slats. In African culture, metal has magical, therapeutic and apotropaic properties. Ritual ingredients were also introduced into the abdomen (bishimba) into the horn, sometimes also in pouches attached to the loincloth, in order to strengthen the power of the object. Textiles, feathers and necklaces were also necessary attributes to guard against witchcraft. The face of the man is both reminiscent of the kifwebe mask. The volumes bounded by sharp angles lend a robust appearance to the ...


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Mumuye statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Mumuye statue

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
Carried by short crenellated legs, the sculpture offers long hanging arms, bent and provided with hands in spatulas, framing a columnar bust surmounted by a narrow head. The sagittal crest forms with the ears distended by the curls, only worn by women of the ethnic group, the main ornamentation. Satin patina, desication cracks.
The statuary emanating from the northwestern region of the middle Benoué, from the Kona Jukun, to the Mumuye and up to the Wurkun populations is distinguished by a relative absence of ornamentation and a refined stylization. The 100,000 Adamawa language speakers form a group called Mumuye and are grouped into villages, dola, divided into two groups: those of fire (tjokwa) relating to blood and the color red, guardians ...


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Monkey Baoule
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Tribal art > African Statues > Monkey Baoule

A cloth loincloth and a belt of plant fibers surround the kidneys of this cynocephalic monkey. With his eyes raised to the sky, he presents a cup of offerings. There are several representations of the same type, with different names depending on the use that is made of them. They were mistakenly named Gbékré (mouse) because of Delafosse's misunderstanding of two cults (Boyer, Baulé 5Continents). Often linked to the cults Mbra of divination and possession, they belong to the group of 'force-beings' or amwin , intermediaries between God and men and given to the Baoulé by their Creator, as well as the sacred masks from which they share the wide gaping jaw. It would also be a minor deity named bark . For propitiatory purposes, these sculptures were to form the interior of the spirits to whom ...


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Songola statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Songola statue

Rare Songola statuette, with residues of light pigments on one part of the face and tiny traces of red ochre on the other. These statuettes embody a deceased ancestor of the Nsubi society. Some of the sculptures were reserved for the Songola high ranking officials of the Bwami. Beautiful glossy patina, abrasions from use.
Mixed by marriage with the Lega, Ngengele and Zimba, the Songola are governed by the elders of the lineages. They borrowed from the Luba and Songye the Luhuna institution composed of dignitaries and that of the Bwami by their lega wives. The Songola live by hunting and fishing, they engage in sculpture although the objects associated with the Bwami cult come from the Lega. Among their reduced statuary, the figures of ancestors of the Nsubi society ...


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Fang ancestor figure of Byeri reliquary
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Tribal art > African Statues > Fang statue

This anthropomorphic sculpture representing a richly adorned young woman is distinguished by the quality of its modeling, its patina evoking a dark skin on which the copper ornaments form a brilliant contrast. Among the characteristics of the Ntumu style from the regions between Gabon, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea is the pouting of the prognathic jaw. The bust is pierced with a cavity in order to introduce magical elements or relics of the deceased. Bright patina, abrasions. Local restoration with brass staples. Cracks of desiccation. Among the Fang of Cameroon and in Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are kept. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or a ...

Nyamezi  statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Nyamezi statue

The Nyamwezi, Nyamezi, form the largest group among the tribes living in north central Tanzania. Coming from diverse origins, although sharing the same cultural specificities, their ritual and artistic production consequently presents very different formal aspects. The cult of ancestors and chiefs, of major importance within their culture, marked their statuary. The Sukuma and the Nyamézi produced statues depicted in a static position, some of which, with threadlike limbs, evoke the artistic creations of Alberto Giacometti. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed their territory, the Unyamwézi. They were therefore led to travel from the Congo (R.D.C.) to the coastal cities of the Indian Ocean, where they were called "Nyamwézi", "men of the moon" or "men of ...


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Statue Bamana
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Bamana

Female figure called "little favorite", Nyeleni in Bambara, erected on a circular base, arms spread out from the body, breasts in "shell" on a narrow bust. The face is topped with a ridged crest. The statuette, adorned with decorative motifs associated with traditional scarification marks, has a dull, abraded patina of age, revealing an underlying light wood. Desiccation cracks. 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 creator god generically called Ngala who maintains the order of the universe. His existence coexists with another androgynous god called Faro, who gave all qualities to men and who makes the fruits of the earth grow. Great masked festivals close the initiation rites ...


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Benin bronze
Tribal art > African bronze > Benin bronze

Bronze in the African art of the Benin Kingdom
Before the destruction of the palace of the kingdom of Benin in 1897, the divine character of the kings, the Oba, was illustrated by multiple works celebrating their power. War scenes glorifying them were reproduced on narrative plaques, in bronze, and affixed to the walls. Sumptuous bronze altars, commemorative figures of deceased chiefs, majestic felines, heavy bracelets, anklets and recades were produced in quantity in numerous foundry workshops using the lost wax casting technique. The killing of the king of animals associated with legends, the leopard, was the privilege of the chief, the Oba. The feline could then serve as an offering for the cult of the chief's head. Sometimes tamed by various royal guilds, it accompanied the ...


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7950.00

Virgo Kongo
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Tribal art > African Statues > Virgo Kongo

Ex-collection African tribal art from Belgium.
. Inspired by Christian religious subjects, this African sculpture depicting a saint from the Catholic liturgy draped in a stole, praying with a rosary in hand, reflects the impact of the Christianization of the kongo. When these objects were not made for a local parish, they were frequently reused in fetishistic cults for diviners and chiefs. Statues of virgins formed the tops of canes of authority mvwala. Carved out of a rectangular block, the sculpture of a figure standing on a pedestal reveals, under the veil, only the face and arms of the effigy in a prayerful attitude. Dark brown patina, satin, locally abraded.
The Vili, the Lâri, the Sûndi, the Woyo, the Bembé, the Bwende, the Yombé and the Kôngo formed the group Kôngo, ...


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Luba statue
Tribal art > African Maternity > Luba statue

Rare Luba statue of imposing size, standing on spread, semi-flexed legs. So-called "ear-shaped" scarifications, "tactile mnemonic code", cover the bust, enhancing the curves. This type of figure was also used in the context of fertility rituals: young women lacking breast milk came to touch the chest of the statue in the hope of breastfeeding more abundantly. These mothers then spoke audibly to the ancestor indicating that their grandchildren lacked milk. Dark satin patina.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is Katanga, more precisely the region of the Lubu river, thus the name (Baluba, which means “the Lubas”). The chiefdoms cover a small territory without any real border which includes at most three villages. The Luba of Kasai were subjected to ...


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650.00

Dogon Statuette
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Tribal art > African Statues > Dogon Statuette

African Statuette Dogon collected in the mid-20th century by Monsieur Arnaud, accompanying Alain Bilot, renowned collector of Dogon art during study trips to Mali.

This sculpture depicts a woman in a raised arms posture. A grainy patina is evidence of the libations administered. One hand is missing. Desiccation cracks.
Carved for the most part on commission by a family and in this case placed on the family altar Tire Kabou, the Dogon tribal statues 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 ...


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Songye Skeleton
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Tribal art > African Statues > Songye Skeleton

Songye or Luba sculpture depicting a skeleton, not accompanied by information on the function of the object.
Satin brown patina. Cracks.
The fetish Songye, magic sculpture Nkisi, nkishi (pl. mankishi), plays the role of mediator between gods and men. The large specimens are the collective property of an entire village, while the smaller figures belong to an individual or a family. In the 16th century, the Songyes migrated from the Shaba region to settle in Kasai, Katanga and South Kivu. Their society is organized in a patriarchal way. Their history is inseparable from that of the Luba, to whom they are related through common ancestors. Very present in their society, divination made it possible to discover sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that ...


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Zigua figure
Tribal art > African Statues > Zigua figure

African statuette depicting a small figure in a frontal, straight posture, swaddled in textile then coated with dark crusty materials.
Among the Zigua, this type of sculpture served as a support for initiation. The Sukuma of northern Tanzania use similar figures.
This piece of tribal art comes from the northeastern region of Tanzania, bordering Kenya, facing the Indian Ocean, where the Paré, Shamba, Zigua, and Mbugu tribes live. A relative homogeneity characterizes the productions of these groups, recalling some of the Madagascans and Bataks with whom, via maritime trade, contact could once have been established. This sculpture was probably used for didactic purposes during male initiations. She could also embody an ancestor or a spirit.


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390.00





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