The Igbo people in southeastern Nigeria worship a considerable number of deities known as alusi, or agbara, considered to be the descendants of Chuku, or Chukwu , and as such constitute intermediaries to whom sacrifices such as kola nuts, silver, kaolin, are granted in order to enjoy their favors.
These Nigerian sculptures produced in several regions range from about forty centimeters up to human height, and are adorned with more or less elaborate aristocratic attributes.
This sculpture, abundant in detail, features figures with slender morphologies. The children carried by the mother sitting on her stool with three anthropomorphic legs are connected by unidentified elements. The growths of the hairstyle also offer characters evoking fertility.
The face here takes on ...
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Despite their small number, the thirty thousand Mambila (or Mambila, Mambere, Nor, Torbi, Lagubi, Tagbo, Tongbo, Bang, Ble, Juli, Bea)(the "men", in Fulani), settled in the northwest of Cameroon, have created a large number of masks and statues easily identifiable by their heart-shaped faces. Although the Mambila believe in a creator god named Chang or Nama, they only worship their ancestors. Their leaders were buried in granaries like wheat as they were believed to symbolize prosperity. Masks and statues were not to be seen by women.
Made according to recurring canons, these statues supposed to embody the ancestors frequently have small tenons as a hairstyle. An orifice was made on the barrel bust of the effigy which was to be dedicated to a therapeutic rite. The head is extended ...
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African art lega and introductory materials. African tribal sculpture Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an insider of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations, its structure is in the form of a central trunk around which four losangic faces are directed in all directions. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were exposed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu, at great expense to the families. Each of these ...
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N'duleri-style Dogon statue depicting a griot with a stringed musical instrument, a lute named djéli-n'goni among the Bambara (lute of the griots), or n' koni. The sound box was made of half a calabash. Miniature characters, relating to the myths of the Dogon creation, form the uprights of the seat or seat the ancestor. These symbols, associated with the role of music in rituals, refer to the magical nature of sculpture. Brown patina, eroded oiled surface.
Sculpted for the most part on order placed by a family and in this case arranged on the family altar Tiré Kabou, Dogon tribal statues can also be the object of worship on the part of the whole community when they commemorate, for example, the founding of the village. These statues, sometimes embodying the nyama of the ...
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Witnesses to the traditions of the Hopi Indian peoples of Arizona, the sculpted Katsinam (sing. Kachina) objects are expressed during traditional dances accompanying the annual festivals in favor of the rain.
Traditional Kachina dolls are, for the Amerindian Pueblo group (Hopi, Zuni, Tewa Village, Acoma Pueblo and Laguna Pueblo), educational tools offered to children at the end of ritual celebrations. These statuettes, embodying a great diversity of spirits, represent the katchina dancers and the colors are associated with the cardinal points. They are grouped here in a team of five statuettes with a height of 24 cm.
The patina is matte and velvety, abrasions, minimal cracks.
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The Yaka surround each other in daily life with regalia decorated with carved figures, such as this statue forming a container intended to contain kaolin for the investiture of the chiefs. Its use was diverted, traces of shea by lining the internal walls. The head, which would appear the mediating soothsayer with a high cap, has coffee bean eyes deeply surrounded. Hollowed sex is clearly associated with circumcision. Beautiful glossy, sainy patina. With the Yaka, at the new moon, the soothsayer ngaanga ngoombu covers his face with kaolin before issuing an oracle. During its daytime passage into the basement, the moon is coated with this white clay. The night would convey the virtues of life. The Yaka society is extremely hierarchical and authoritarian. The head of ...
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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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It is during funerals, agricultural festivals or in case of danger that this type of carved figures are exposed in the north of the Benoue river. Their role is that of mediator between the afterlife and the priest. The flat, rectangular head appears to be wearing a helmet with distended ears and pupils that form the only projection of the face. The hands rest on the hips in a circular plateau, while part of the legs are eroded. Dark patina, residue
clayey. Abrasions and desiccation cracks.
The Jukuns are a West and Central African population living mainly in Nigeria in the upper Benue Valley, also in north-west Cameroon. With the expansion of the former Jukun Empire, the Jukun or Wurbo of Nigeria have scattered into two groups: one settled south of the Donga River, ...
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Ex-collection African tribal art Belgian.
The most famous plastic achievements of the Malagasy consist of a statuary linked to funerary rites. If the Mahafaly statues were an integral part of the aloalo pillars, the fragments of panels above the heads testify to this, the figures of Sakalava ancestors, in the round, frequently represent the deceased and his companion of the opposite sex. The north-east of the tomb, a sacred position associated with the dawn, the resurrection, the ideal moment for circumcision as well, was considered by the Malagasy as the favorable place for the installation of the statue of the deceased. To the south-west of the tomb, on the other hand, was installed the image of his partner of the opposite sex, symbolizing an ideal union.
This ancestor ...
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Sculpture from the area around Dar-es-Salam, on the coast of Tanzania, where the Kaguru, Luguru, Kwéré, Zaramo and Doé tribes live.
The female figure is recurrent in the sculpted works.
Perched on a seat with openwork feet, a woman wears a double crest pierced with holes. The arms are exaggeratedly long, extending from fingered hands, one of which rests on a breast.
Gray beige patina with kaolin.
The Zaramo and the tribes that surround them, such as the Kwéré and the Doé, designed dolls generally associated with fertility, but to which other virtues would be attributed. Its primary role is played during the period of confinement of the young initiate Zaramo. The novice will behave towards the object as with a child, and will dance with it during the closing ...
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Ample distended ears frame the face, moreover underlined by a crenellated beard and topped with a high tiara, of this sculpted figure. The assertive posture brings out the bulbous abdomen on which the hands rest. Locally peeling dark patina. Erosions, gaps, and desication cracks.
The Jukuns are a population of West and Central Africa living mainly in Nigeria in the upper Bénoué Valley, also in northwestern Cameroon.Thanks to the he expansion of the old Jukun Empire, the Jukun or Wurbo of Nigeria scattered into two groups: one established south of the Donga River, and the second north of the region, near the Mumuye and the Wurkum. The attacks of the Chambas first of all, then of the Fulani then, contributed to the extinction of this kingdom. Their king Aka uku, ...
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Figure sitting on a seat used for the rites of the sigi, hands on knees. The face is very delicately carved, conferring a soft and reserved physiognomy, framed by braided pigtails.
Beautiful dark patina, irregular surface, residual crusty inlays.
Carved for the most part on commission by a family, Dogon statues may also be the object of worship by the entire community. However, their functions remain little known.
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 ...
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Spherical head framed by large ears and pierced pupils, tubular bust and semi-flexed legs, this statue without arms is swaddled in a cloth on which dark residues crystallize.
Among the Zigua, this type of sculpture was used 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 Malagasy and Batak with whom, via maritime trade, contact could once have been established.
This sculpture was probably used for didactic purposes during male initiations.
It could also embody an ancestor or a ...
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Reliquary heads whose pupils are encrusted with copper. Ritual removals were frequent from sculptures of this type.
Abraded and velvety patina of use, erosions, desiccation cracks.
Height on base: 27 cm.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the 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 head which acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the hut, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. During the festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried ...
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br>This sculpture depicting mythical protective beings would form the primordial couple, associated with the Nommos, at the origin of Dogon creation.
Their morphology is characteristic of the central part of the Bandiagara cliff, bombou-toro. The narrow faces topped with crests surmount the rectangular block of the shoulders.
The slender arms frame a long bust, while slender legs extend from slender feet resting on the discoid base.
Dark matte patina, eroded surface and desication cracks.
Sculpted for the most part on order placed by a family, the 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 ...
Torsion of the bust and absence of the left limbs for this Nyamezi sculpture of a character standing on a single straight leg.
Glossy patina of use, cracks and abrasions of use.
The Nyamwezi, Nyamézi, 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 represented in a static position, some of which, with filiform limbs, evoke the artistic creations of Alberto Giacometti. They were involved in the 19th century in the caravan trade that crossed ...
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This sculpted figure depicts a naked woman, her hair done according to Mangbetu and Zande custom, braided hair gathered in a bun. Among the Mangbetu, this hairstyle enhanced the elongation of the skull, which compression of the head from an early age gradually deformed.
Orange-brown patina, abrasions and losses.
The ancients call beli the anthropomorphic figures embodying ancestors, stored out of sight, and comparable to those belonging to their secret society nebeli.
The Mangebetu kingdom in northern Congo produced architectural works that impressed European visitors in the 19th century. Their furniture, weapons, ornaments and statuary were imbued with a rare aesthetic quality. The ethnologist G.A. Schweinfurth in 1870 described its symmetry and refinement, while at the ...
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Ex-collection Of African art, >This anthropomorphic figures were identified late, with some details evoking the Statuary Mumuye.Coated with a thick crusty patina, this figure offering an ovoid skull extended with a pointed beard is frozen in a slightly picked posture, arms in a circle arch accentuating the abdominal bulge. From the angle of the distant knees develop fully from the feet in half-pallets. A miniature figure appears to be clinging to the back of the character. The Kaka ethnic group, whose name fulani comes from German settlers, is located in a border area between Nigeria and Cameroon. Their statuary shows some influence from other ethnic groups such as the Mumuye, whose statues also have short, flexed legs topped with a slender body. Their very thick and crusty patina, ...
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Named Bonganga or Efomba according to the authors, these very geometric anthropomorphic coffins were intended to accommodate the remains of dignitaries of the Ngata ethnic group. As in ancient Egypt, this type of sarcophagus was commissioned during their lifetime by high-ranking people.
These " bonganga-nganga " sculptures stand out for their polychromy and beautiful alternation of geometric patterns. This ornamentation takes up the traditional scarifications, tattoos, paintings and textiles with which the deceased adorns himself. The hollow back acts as a receptacle in which horns have been placed. Smaller in size than those dedicated to the great chiefs (some of which can reach more than 2m), this type of sculpture could have been dedicated to a family cult, and not placed on the tomb ...
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This statue forms, for the Baoulé, an idealized, individual image of the celestial spouse. Its characteristics were carved on the indications of the diviner for his client in an attempt to remedy various problems.
Polychrome, matte and abraded patina.
Two types of statues are produced by the Baoulé in the ritual context:
TheWaka-Sona statues, "being of wood" in Baoulé, evoke a assié oussou, being of the earth. They are one of a type of statues intended to be used as medium tools by Komien soothsayers, the latter being selected by the asye usu spirits in order to communicate revelations from beyond. The second type of statues, made according to the indications of the diviner, are the spouses of the beyond, masculine, the Blolo bian or feminine, the blolo bia .
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Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko).
This African altar sculpture, allowing communication with the afterlife according to the Yoruba, depicts one of the many female goddesses, the earth goddess Onilé ("owner of the House"), guarantor of longevity, peace, and resources, and linked to the powerful Ogboni society among theYoruba Egba and Ijebu. She could also symbolize Orunmila, goddess of divination. It is surmounted by a hairstyle composed of heads.
Intended to be enthroned on an altar, this type of object was venerated by members of the powerful Ogboni, or Osugbo, society responsible for justice.
Hairstyle and integumentary ornaments also indicate the social rank of the character. ...
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