The usual African objects have always been the means of choice for the artistic expression of African sculptors, especially in Côte d'Ivoire. The rice spoons of the Baoulé, and the Dan neighbors, were not only intended to be offered to the most hospitable woman in the community, as a trophy. They were used at community meals that closed traditional festivals and ritual ceremonies, but were also used for fertility rituals: rice was then thrown at the crowd to ensure protection and fertility. The spoon extends from a female bust with a long curved neck. The latter supports a graceful head with features and a very delicately chiseled hairstyle. Black patina lustrous by use. High on a base: 25 cm.
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Scepter with figured anthropomorphic motif sitting at the end of the stick. The lower part is made up of several sculpted sections and then extends into a point.
Two-tone matte patina, slight loss Height on base: 67 cm.
The Ibibios are a people of West Africa, mainly present in the south-east of Nigeria (State of Akwa Ibom), but also in Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. Secret societies are numerous among the Ibibio settled west of the Cross River. Without a centralized government, their social organization is comparable to that of the neighboring Igbo. Ancestor worship, shared by the Oron and Eket established on the right bank of the Cross River, is under the authority of the highest-ranking members of the male Ekpo (ghost) association. The presence of the uninitiated in ...
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Collection of African Belgian Tribal Art
Very popular with contemporary interior designers, the Ci Wara has become, in addition to a collector's item, an essential accessory for decorators who love sleek design.
This one has a dark brown patina, having danced during the first half of the 20th century, forgotten at the bottom of a hut until 1988, it was collected by the collector in 1988 in Mali.
It would be an animal - genius called Ciwara who would have taught the Bambara to cultivate the land. The latter remember the myth through the stylized representation of an antelope antelope, whose name ci wara means "wild animal of the earth". Worn at the top of the skull and held in place by a kind of small basket, these crests accompanied the dancers during the rituals of the tòn, ...
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Old stool seat evoking the mythical arch of the Dogon creation. A metal staple consolidates the structure. The decoration of the blanks presents subjects associated with the Nommos ancestors.
Velvety matte patina, abrasions and desication cracks.
According to the Dogon cosmogony, the first primordial ancestors of Dogon, called Nommo, were the bisexual water gods. They were created in heaven by the creator god Amma and descended from heaven to earth in an ark.The Nommo is said to have founded the eight lineages of Dogon and instilled weaving, the art of blacksmithing, and the agriculture to their human descendants.
Ref. : "Dogon" H. Leloup, ed. Quai Branly Museum.
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Drums are used in Africa not only to transmit messages but also by the witch doctor during ritual ceremonies. This type of slit drum is adorned with a sculpted head and has two sticks housed in the sound box.
Glossy dark brown patina, slight abrasions.
The Punu are a Bantu people of Central Africa established mainly in southern Gabon, also in the Republic of Congo in the Niari region. They live in independent villages divided into clans and families. Social cohesion is ensured by the Moukouji society, whose essential role is to subjugate the evil spirits of the forest. Within this same group named Shira, the Lumbu, Loumbu, Balumbu, settled on the coastal part of Gabon, and in the Republic of Congo, keep the bones of their ancestors in reliquary baskets decorated with ...
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Statue generally associated with female initiation rituals, practices aimed at improving fertility or divinatory ceremonies. The hairstyles represented those, fashioned with oil and red ochre, of young nyaneka girls following the efuko ritual.
Light golden satin patina, cracks.
It is on the Benguela plateau in Angola that the Ovimbudu, Ovimbundu, have been established for several centuries, made up of farmers and breeders. Forming the largest ethnic group in Angola, they belong to Bantu speakers, such as Nyaneka, Handa, Nkhumbi, and other groups from the region of Huila, or Wila. Their statuary made in light wood is relatively limited. Ref. : "Black African tribal art" ed. Assouline; "Treasures of Africa" Museum of Tervuren.
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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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A prestigious badge of an initiated member of the Bwami, this necklace, which was worn daily, incorporates bilondo objects publicly indicating the status achieved by its holder. If the uninitiated reads certain signs, the follower will understand more deeply the symbolism of wearing this or that accessory. The necklace consists of carved wooden beads and bone teeth, horn, talisman in the form of a miniature mask in ivory, cauri and pearl. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the chief, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ...
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This mask forms a miniature reproduction of a large mask of the Gelede society, a human head surmounted by a stage, in this case a figure of seated deity, leaning on two sticks, or a priestess of worship. Aimed at an individual use, this type of object stood on the family altar. Satin light brown patina. The Gelede country in Nigeria pays tribute to the mothers, especially the oldest of them, whose powers would be comparable to those of the Yoruba gods, or orisa, and the ancestors, osi and who can be used for the benefit but also for the misfortune of society. In the latter case these women are named aje . Masked ceremonies, through performances using masks, costumes and dances, are supposed to urge mothers to use their extraordinary qualities for a peaceful and constructive ...
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Pipe, or oriental chibouque, chibouk, with terracotta bowl, filigree metal handle decorated with arabesques and interlacing. The stove has a small lid that a chain connects to the pipe.
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In African art, African masks sowei form an idealized representation of female beauty through Mende culture. They embody aquatic spirits. This cephalomorphic mask forms a copy of the type of masks named bundu the most important in the Mendes. The face has a high bulging forehead forming the upper half, while the narrow features are concentrated in the lower part. The face seems to be engulfed in a neck where the folds appear an abundance of flesh, a symbol of prosperity. From the top, between the fins of the hairstyle, springs a cephalomorphic figure worn by an equally ringed neck. Peint in black or tinted with a brush of leaves, the mask was then rubbed with palm oil. Velvet matte patina, Ochre residual inlays, erosions, slight desication cracks.br>The Mende, Vaï and Gola cultures ...
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Unlike the relatively flat kota ancestor sculptures, this partially metal clad statue bears a large head with a prominent forehead, framed by cylindrical ears. The eroded part is supported by a metal base.
This ritual sculpture, plated with metal sheets according to the kota tradition, forms a stylized image of the ancestor, a coat of arms also for the clan, and is generally distinguished by the shape of the headdress, which varies according to the region. The Kota inhabit the eastern part of Gabon, which is rich in iron ore, and some in the Republic of Congo. The blacksmith, in addition to wood carving, made tools for agricultural work as well as ritual weapons. The sculptures playing the role of "medium" between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were ...
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A prestigious object, this fly swatter features a finely chiseled "yiteke" miniature acting as a talisman. The figure is extended by a handle on which a cord is tied, attaching the horsehair and the fur constituting the whip.
Glossy brown patina.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that results from it are the occasion nowadays, for the Yaka, to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using charms. The society of initiation of young people is the n-khanda, found among the eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc.), and which uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. The artistic productions of the ...
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Jan Putteneers African Art Collection. Usual object but also ceremonial, he accompanied the Chokwe who wore it as a pendant, which helped polish their surface. The sculpted head could represent a head wearing the crown chipangula. Two small side holes have been fitted out for sound. Played together, whistles, produced in large numbers, were used both during dances and hunting to call dogs but also to war. Thanks to the few sounds they made, information was exchanged from one place to another. The Chokwé have become known in the Western world for their works of art, which are highly appreciated in the general context of African art. The sculpted face of the founding hero Tshibinda Ilunga is recognized on this piece. This central character has a very special ...
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Located in the border region of Nigeria, the northwestern province of Cameroon, the Grassland is made up of several ethnic groups: Tikar, Anyang, Widekum, Chamba, Bamoun and Bamileke. Several centralized chiefdoms, or kingdoms, based on customary associations, secret societies, are organized around the Fon which has broad powers. Among The Bamilékés of Sudano-Bantous origin as well as in other ethnic groups, the art objects attested to the place of their owner in society. The seats, whose ornamentation varied according to social status, were carved for routine use or for meetings of the Customary Societies. Each of the Cameroonian kingdoms produces an art linked to the royal prestige of the Fon consisting of regal, various weapons and cult sculptures, this treasure being kept in a box ...
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Extract from a Belgian African tribal art collection of 17 pieces representing different animals.
This object comes from northeastern Nigeria near Lake Chad, around Maiduguri, in the state of Borno, which is currently relatively inaccessible because it is controlled by armed Islamist groups. The dominant language is Kanuri.
It is a rare piece, associated with protective spirits, which was buried in the ground in order to preserve crops from animals or thieves. The Damosaka families, a very little known minority ethnic group in the region, had this type of ritual object. We have no information about them.
The sculpture forms a detailed figurative representation of a wild pig offering realistic proportions. A spongy-looking growth remains on the subject's back. A ...
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Obamba sculptural expression in African artEffigie of ancestor Kota known mbulu-ngulu, its morphology is similar to the Obamba type. A concave face, from which the eyes pierce in cabochons, is haloed with a headdress with side fins. The set is plated with sheets and metal threads engraved with repulsed. The base that would appear the arms is only partially covered with metal. This type of figure overcame the baskets in which the mortuary relics of the upper lineage ancestors were stored, playing the role of guardians named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used by the banganga . In order to reactivate the magical charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with ...
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French African tribal art collection.Small Dogon altar figure, with a flat face extending to the center of the bust. A posture of devotion for this figure of ancestor coated with a black crusty patina resulting from periodic ritual unctions.
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.
Alongside 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 worship under the authority of the patriarch; the Binou invoking the spirit world and led by the Binou priest; and the mask society ...
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The Baga live along the Atlantic coast of the Republic of Guinea, in West Africa. They are one of the smallest ethnic groups in Guinea, and have lived relatively isolated from their neighbors due to the vast swamps that surround them. They did, however, leave a vast artistic legacy, which includes crests, figurative sculptures, masks, and objects of daily use such as musical instruments.
This drum called timba , and matimbo in neighboring groups, was played during initiation ceremonies for members of the A-Tekan , on the occasion of the funerals of its members or even for the marriage of their daughters. It is by its size that this drum is distinguished from other drums used in the A-Tekan, which requires its user to remain standing to play the instrument. He also ...
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Support of the ritualist named babalawo (or Babalao, or Babaal-wo, pronounced Baba-a-l'wo), priest of Ifa, in the Yoruba language, these trays exist in three forms. They are intended for ifa, a system of divination that represents the teachings of the orisha Orunmila, orisha of Wisdom. The babalawo claim to be securing the future through their communication with Orunmila. In Yoruba thought in Nigeria, orishas form a variety of divine spirits controlling natural forces. They are found mainly in Yoruba cosmogony but more widely in East West Africa in the diasporas of Central and South America. This tablet was used in Abomey, among the Yorubas of Benin.The center of the plateau, aarin opon , forms a picture in which the dust of wood allows the priest-soothsayer to trace the solutions to his ...
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French African art collection.
Portable altar dedicated to the "inner head", on which an abundance of cowries refers to prosperity through their use of old coins but also to spirituality. The elaborate and refined ornamentation, the diversity of the elements and materials that compose it, indicate the social rank of the owner of this "house of the head". For the Yoruba, the "inner head", a metaphysical reflection of the physical head, contains the essence of being in intimate relationship with the "Supreme Being". (pl.11, "Yoruba" B.Lawal, ed. 5Continents)
Centered on the veneration of its gods, or orisà, the Yoruba religion relies on artistic sculptures with coded messages (aroko). They are designed by the sculptors at the request of the followers, soothsayers and their ...
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