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Tribal art - 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.

Moba Tchitcheri Figure
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Tribal art > African Statues > Moba Tchitcheri Figure

From the ex private collection of African Art Emile Robyn ( Brussels, Belgium ).

With its forms and proportions, this piece of art echoes the statues in Bronze from Giacometti. The tchitcheri represents an ancestor symbolized with a human body and an abstract face. It is originally stuck in the soil. The tchitcheri sakwa refer to the memory of the founder of a clan.

It's the grandfather of Emile, Abel Robyn, that started the collection in 1850, who was transmitted over three generations. At the death of Abel in 1895, his son, Jérôme Robyn did inherited the collection which he continued to fulfil until his death in 1968.

Emile Robyn inherited from his father and also continued this magnificent collection with all the piece of art he bought ...

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Ancestor statuette Ndengese Totshi
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statuette Ndengese

A people of Central Africa who live in Kasai, a neighbour of the Kuba, the Ndengese form one of the clans of a common ancestor Mongo , some of them from Upper Nile. They produced statues of art first to the absent or truncated lower limbs, covered with graphic symbols, symbolizing the prestige of the leader. The flared hairstyle topped with a summit horn is characteristic of the hairstyles acquired by the Totshi belonging to the association ikoho and evokes particular proverbs. It symbolizes respect, intelligence and maturity. The face seems to be in meditation. The neck has a sling. Losangic scarifications in relief, with the aim of differentiating socially and aesthetically, are drawn on the bust. The clasped hands highlight the protruding umbilical. Dark brown patina abraded, residual ...

Statuette Tabwa
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Tribal art > African Statues > Tabwa Fetish

This figure of matrilineage ancestor is established legs spread on a pedestal, the length of the bust constrassing with the proportions of the lower limbs. The character has a long headdress worn in the neck. It also has a horn or yam associated with fertility, and is distinguished by the abundance and diversity of its facial and body scarifications. This type of sculpture was associated with the rites of protection and healing. Grey brown patina, residual white clay deposits.
Stylistic kinship is noteworthy with the Luba.
The Tabwa ("scarifier" and ", write") are an ethnic group in southeastern DRC. Simple farmers without centralized power, they united around tribal leaders after being influenced by the Luba. It was mainly during this period that their artistic current was ...

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Songye Nkishi Fetish Statue
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Tribal art > African fetish > Songye Fetish

Magical sculpture named Nkisi , nkishi (pl. mankishi ), it is a protective fetish of the Songye consisting of a cylindrical body and a head in the shape of the Kifwebe striped mask. The large digitized hands rest above a desecrated cavity, the magic charge being absent. This type of object feared by the Songye was moved by iron rods inserted under the arms of the sculpture. This copy has been equipped with wooden chopsticks for its handling. A necklace of tubular beads and an abundance of cotton cords and raffia rods adorn the bust of the sculpture.
Mate and kaolin brown patina.
These home protection fetishes are among the most prized in Africa. They could not be touched directly, which is why they were held with rods. Nkishi plays the role of mediator between gods and humans ...

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Statue Dan
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Dan

This sculpture collected in Guinea Conakry embodies a young warrior, armed with a knife and carrying the head of an enemy. This rare work with menacing gestures has characteristic features of the productions of the Dan of Côte d'Ivoire and those established in Nimba County in Liberia, adjacent to the Guinean border, which probably influenced the statuary of some clans. The braided hair gathered in three thick back-to-back shells, the jewels in the ears, the facial and body scarifications, the mouth with protruding lips revealing the dentition, form aesthetic constants. The Dan also once had a reputation as warriors and cannibals. The position in which the character was depicted is also unusual: sitting, legs apart, his nudity asked by a textile sex cover of vegetable fibers.
Smooth, ...

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Ancestor figure Luba
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Luba

This female African figure of ancestor whose pose, hands on the chest, would evoke fertility, is also associated with royal secrets. This attitude indicates that the secrets of royalty, bizila , belong to women through their role as political and spiritual intermediaries. She is pictured wearing a prolonged tiara of a hull and a thick braid behind a forehead largely cleared by the traditional shaving. The so-called "en epi" , "tactile mnemoniccode" , cover the abdomen, the hollow of the kidneys and the lower abdomen, highlighting the volumes and the protruding umbilical. The speckled patina is powdery. The heavily altered base was fixed on a pedestal.
The Luba (Baluba in Chiluba) are a people of Central Africa. Their cradle is the Katanga, specifically the region of the Lubu River, ...

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Ancestor figure Teké- Yansi Butti
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Teke

This statue of teké-Yansi ancestor, in a dance position, legs spread half-folded, and whose fetishsimialires, miniatures, form the arms, has a hollowed-out quadrangular abdomen in which relics or a magic charge (bilongo) were arranged. Traditional scarifications, in parallel grooves (mabina) covering his face, were usually coated with clay. Playing as a powerful character, warrior, nganga, hunter emeritus, or family ancestor, this tribal statue was honored as part of the family cult. Desication cracks, gaps in one foot. Established between the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon, the Teké were organized as chiefdoms, the leader of which was often chosen among the blacksmiths. The head of the family, mfumu , had the right to life or death over his family whose ...

Figure of reliquary Fang of Byeri
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Tribal art > African Statues > Statue Fang

Ex-french African art collection.
Anthropic figure guardian of the reliquary containing the bones of the deceased, on which it was recorded by the posterior stalk. This concave-faced statue has a stretched bust in which the umbilical stands out and atrophied limbs. Its long neck is surrounded by a metal torque, with apotropaic virtues. The umbilical lozenge and the geometric representation of sex are associated with parentage. The hollowed-out orbits give a psychic look to the figure. The black brown patina, smooth and oiled, blends locally.
A disturbing reputation for cannibals accompanied the Fang people, carefully studied by ethnologist Louis Perrois. Rituals and ceremonies related to the worship of Theby also included taking a hallucinogenic drug, alan , in order to ...

Statuette Mangbetu Nebeli
Tribal art > African Statues > Mangbetu Fetish

In addition to its remarkable statuary, the African art of the Mangbetu presents a wide variety of everyday objects, instruments and adornments. This ancient statuette has an interesting patina composed of several layers including an ochre-red revealing under a greyish coat and light beige cracked. Forearms and sex are missing. The statues of mangbetu ancestors are easily identifiable thanks to the typical headdress they have. This headdress represents the ideal canon of beauty within the mangbetu aristocracy. From an early age, children's skulls were compressed with raffia cords that distorted their skulls, and a high, flared headdress further accentuated the importance. Long scars, which varied according to the circumstances, roamed the sculpture, evoking the tribal paintings and ...

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Fetish Kongo Yombe Statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Fetish Kongo Yombe Statue

Ex-collection Belgian African art In the 13th century, the Kongo people, led by their king Ne Kongo, settled in a region at the crossroads of the current DRC, Angola and Gabon Two centuries later later, the Portuguese came into contact with the Kongo and converted their king to Christianity.Although monarchical, the Kongo political system had a democratic aspect because the king was actually placed at the head of the kingdom following an election held by A council of tribal governors, who was also known as ntotela, controlled the appointment of court and provincial officials, and the nganga, who were both healers, were in charge of religious activities and mediation of the God called Nzambi by intermediate of consecrated figures named nkisi A monochrome figure of an ancestor sitting on a ...

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Couple of great beaded warriors Bamiléké
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Tribal art > African Statues > Couple of great beaded warriors Bamiléké

Ex-German African art collection.
Couple of Bamiléké warriors at a height of 1m90.
Museum Parts.
In African art, works in Bamiléké countries are distinguished by the regular use of pearls to decorate not only their masks but also their statues.
Each statue is marked by a strong polychromy.
It thus identifies the chiefdom to which these statues are attributed.
The use of cauris is reserved only for headdresses, while thousands of beads are embroidered to draw various patterns.
Every warrior carries his weapons slung over his shoulder.
Holding a loose loincloth for running and fighting.

Mambila Statue
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Tribal art > African Statues > Mambila Statue

The mambila statuary usually has squat and folded proportions on itself, the characters have bent arms and a triangular face carried forward.

The face can be concave, but it is smooth on this piece which still has contours. very angular and a conical shape Just under the pointed beard, proudly stands the virile member of the character conferring a connotation of power and fertility to the statue. Despite their small numbers, the 30,000 Mambila (or Mambilla, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea), located in northwestern Cameroon, created a large number of masks and statues. There is still a large production of terracotta objects, a sign of the influence of the ancient Sao civilization further north, to Chad.

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