Global Art & Artifacts

africa

Funerary Pottery Head.  Akan.  Ghana

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    Such terracotta and clay sculptures were made to serve a strictly funerary purpose, honoring – as well as commemorating –  the dead. This head may represent a deceased man. It may have stood alone or have been part of a group of figures in or around the… Continue reading

Ashanti Funerary Head. Sculpture. Ancestral. Akan.  Central Rain Forests. Ghana. Africa

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    Ashanti peoples – a major ethnic group of the Akans – transformed physicality to their beliefs about death and the afterlife through the medium of clay. From the second half of the sixteenth century, terracotta sculpture produced primarily by Ashanti women played a role in funerary rites .… Continue reading

Unique and Rare Djimini Mask.  Wood and Leather.  Côte d’Ivoire

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    The Djimini (aka Dyimini) people of Cote d’lvoire are part of  the larger Senufo group.  Heavily into story telling about their history and traditions, this group believes in animism as their main religious practice.  Everything, everything has a spirit inside it . .  the… Continue reading

Yaka Ndeemba Mask.  n-khanda / Mukanda Ceremonial.  Northern Yaka.  Northern DRC Congo

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  After a long history of forced migration and union with other groups, the Yaka have been an independent society since the 19th century.  Living in the northern Congo, the Yaka are primarily hunters, although they also practice small scale farming.  The Yaka has a tight-knit control… Continue reading

Bronze Passport Mask.  Igbo Tribe.  Lost Wax.  Igbo-Ukwu. Nigeria.

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    The people of Igbo-Ukwu (southeast of Onitsha), ancestors of present-day Igbo, were proficient in metal working art in the 9th century (+ or – years depending on what expert you speak with). They are thought to be the earliest smithers (hammering, bending, twisting & incising) of copper and… Continue reading

Marka Mask.  Bamana Kingdom / People. Marka Tribe. Mali.  Africa

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  The over 2 million Bamana people form the largest ethnic group in Mali and occupy the savannah in the central portion of the country. The Bamana (aka Bambara) kingdom was founded in the 17th Century and reached their height of power in the mid- to late-1700s.   The Marka… Continue reading

Extra Fine Senufo Kepeli-yehe Mask.  Bronze.  Stand.  Korhogo.  Côte d’Ivoire Ivory Coast.  Africa

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    The Senufo people – numbering between 1 to 1.5 million and aka Siena, Senefo, Sene, Senoufo, and Syénambélé – is a West African ethno-linguistic group consisting of diverse subgroups.   Their masks are varied with a range of materials.   By far the most profound and valuable are… Continue reading

Chieftain Face Mask.  Bena Lulua People.  Lulua River.  DRC / Zaire

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    The Lulua people – who migrated from western Africa – are made up of small regional chiefdoms.  They in turn often elect a common leader . . . a village chief.   Masks – like this one – are used in rituals and ceremonies related to agriculture,… Continue reading

Rare Bamun Brass Sheathing Mask. Bamileke People.  Cameroon.  Africa

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    Sharing stylistic traits with the Bamileke, Tikar and other Western Grassland Cameroon tribes, this particular mask illustrates the complexity of the transfer of styles… through migration and various artists’ interpretations… even as far back as the migrations of the 17th Century.   That is what makes this mask… Continue reading

Mid-1900 Suku Horned Helmet Mask. Yaka Influence.  DRC.  Congo. Africa

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  One of the most complex and intriguing Suku mask that I have every seen!   The Suku (aka Basuku) are people from SW Congo and Northwest Angola.  They speak a derivation of the Bantu language of the Niger-Congo group of languages.  Suku women cultivate a root vegetable… Continue reading
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