Rare Chokwe Mask from Zaire. Resin, raffia and paint circa late 1920’s. Used in rite of passage ceremonies. Incredibly powerful in presence.
Large scale Senufo bird circa 1950’s. This powerful example has it’s wings outstretched and is clad in embossed tin with remnants of red fabric.
Serpent fetish nail sculpture from the Congo, central Africa circa early 1920’s. The figure has mirrored eyes to house the ancestral spirit or ‘nkisi force’ and patinated nails in the torso. Nails are driven into the effigy during ceremonial ritual with the intention to drive illness from the part of the body in which the nails are inserted.
Early 20th century Baga ‘Nimba’ shoulder mask. This piece weighs approximately 120 pounds and stands over six feet tall. It was carried and danced by the tribe’s strongest dancer and is a figure representative of fertility and birth. This Baga piece is extremely rare and the size age and condition is extraordinary.
This figure is a Yombe Fetish Figure, from Zaire
The nail fetishes, or nkisi, served to seal agreements, to restore health to the spirit or body, or lastly to destroy an enemy or sorcerer through magic.
A nail or some type of metal was added to the sculpture as agreements rendered or to settle disputes.
This was done by one of the high elders.
Rare Gwere mask from the Ivory Coast.
The Gwere are related to the Dan in Liberia and are known as healers due to their knowledge of plants.
They were the inventors of the Terror Mask, whose function was to establish contact with tutelary entities through the intermediary of dead ancestors.
During certain ceremonies the monstrous mask would clown and elicit laughter, but that did not make them any less feared or respected.
This mask is one of the many Kuba masks from Zaire. Mythical orgins and royal power struggles are reenacted ritually with a triad of masks during important initiation and funeral ceremonies.
A mask is worn by a royal dignitary and representing both the God Woot and the king.
In addition to the Royal Traid, there or other type of Kuba masks, the use of mask with horns is still some what of a mystery. However it is believed they were used for initiation rights.