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Art Gallery the Eye and the Hand

Image Exposition Fleuve Congo - les ethnies

The works are presented in a geographical journey of productions ranging from West to East, both from Gabon to Congo:

* The Fang peoples and related
* The Kwele
* The Mbede-Kota
* The Tsogho, Galwa, Aduma, Vuvi and Teke (Tsaayi)
* The Ngbaka, and Ngbandi Ngombe
* The Mbole, Yela, Metoko, Komo, Jong, Lengola and Kela
* The Lega and Bembe


THE KWELE: they live on the northern border of the Republic of Congo, and have used a type of mask called Ekuk, they are flat masks, which have incised eyes, often a white face in a heart-shaped nose triangle-shaped eyes and coffee bean. these masks were hung in homes rarely worn during ceremonies, initiation Bwetes worship, their function was to conduct a village to enable forces are beneficial Bwetes capita.

THE KOTA: Living in the eastern part of Gabon, on the border with the Republic of Congo, Kota, include a number of tribes, such as Mahongwe the Sango, the Obamba, and Shamay, who practice the same rituals and shared cultural traits. They probably migrated southward during the 18th, and now live in the valley of the river, Ogonoué in a forest environment. from their economic resources, sutout hunting and agriculture. Kota the past, had the habit of leaving their dead exposed to the elements in the forest. Under the influence of neighboring tribes, they began to bury their cefs and keep their bones (mainly the skull) to place them with other objects cargas magical powers in bark boxes or baskets called Bwetes.

the baskets or boxes reliquaries were kept for generations but in the twentieth beliefs Kota, changed and worship Bwetes was often abandoned. In 1964 a religious movement called the cult of the young ladies, was responsible for the destruction of most traditional items, remaining. This movement was based on the belief that one could develop the strength of the ancestors by imitating their values and customs.

The baskets reliquaries, Bwetes, kept in a special closed space placed at the bottom of the chief's hut were the focus of offerings and prayer whose purpose was to bring prosperity to the clan. During the initiation ceremonies for boys, several of these boxes representing the clans and families were pooled, strengthening unity among the different components of the tribe

At the top of Bwetes was placed a statue with a body highly stylized diamond shape, and a large head covered with copper sheets. The back of the head is usually left in the rough, but sometimes a geometric pattern it off. janiformes statues are rare and less than 5 copies, with a stylized body are known. but we do not know their function.


Kota the masks are rare, they are mainly masks helmets with features simplified, tubular eyes and large eyebrows incised under a coiffre crête.sous in a hairstyle peak, often covered with white pigments they occur during initiation ceremonies .


Six regional styles, different statues Kota, were differentiated. statues Maongwé Osyéba also called) have a bullet-shaped face, covered with copper horizontal son.

Shamay statues, have a face and almond shaped, covered with sheets of copper and son, surrounded by two lateral extensions.

The oval face is covered with statues Obamba sheet metal and surrounded by two extensions, lateral and a high headdress.

KOTA statues, whose face is oval and a hairstyle show two side extensions ending with a horizontal line.


Kota the bells were sometimes decorated with figures of characters that may represent ancestors, they used high-ankle, the deep incisions, probably serving as a dowry given their excessive weight. of throwing knives whose shape evokes a bird's head was probably used for ritual purposes. for dignitaries and artists have created Kota concave stools covered with copper sheets and supported by 4-foot concave.

The Teke: The Teke live in a territory that extends between the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gabon. During the fifteenth they were associated with the Tio kingdom but became independent in the seventeenth, they aujourd'ui abitent in villages led by clan elders, called Mfumu, subject to the authority of a territory of cef. Their economy is based primarily on maize, millet and tobacco, but the Teke are also advised fishermen and traders, they believe in a supreme god Nzambi, whose favors can be obtained through tutelary deities.

Teke artists have essentially created statues surrounded by material called Bilongo fetishes that protect the Teke, the owners of these fetishes can detach bilongo and integrate with other statues that will be sold to neighboring families leaving the original statue with an emaciated body.

MASKS: Teke masks are worn by members of society Kidumu during the funeral of their chiefs or for marriages and other important ceremonies. Circular in shape they are divided horizontally by a band. their surface is decorated with geometric designs painted with black pigment. many copies of these masks were made for Europeans.

THE STATUES: statues created by artists Teke have legs shortened and slightly bent, torso framed by elongated arms bent at right angles and a large head bearing scars, linear trapezoid and a beard, their size varies between 15 and 80 cm. They can be used by an individual or by the entire community.

shape bilongo often indicates the function of the statue, such statues are known mutinu bmamba bilongo cylindrical and are used to help women during childbirth. Statues Matomb have bilongo barrel-shaped which gives them an apotropaic function. Butti statues represent ancestors, in their fetishes bilongo materials such as nails or hair of the deceased have been incorporated. Recognizable, their shiny patina they often wear a necklace, metal iemportance identifying the ancestor's played.

Other statuettes known itéo to symbolize the spirit of happiness characterized by a cone of white ground surrounding the body, they were carefully guarded by the families during the hunting expeditions or Teke are sometimes small anthropomorphic fetishes .

brass statuettes and maternity wards are rare function is unknown.

EVERYDAY OBJECTS: artists have created Teke neck restraints adzes, and hunts flies decorated with human faces, these objects were used to display the prestige of their owner, manager or significant, large bronze necklaces decorated with geometric indicating the status of their wearer.


hundred and fifty thousand mbols live on the left bank of the River Zaire, in the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo. they migrated north of the river lulab during the 18th century. MboI villages are independent, run by an elected chief of the elders of each family. the main resources are cassava and rice, grown by women while the men hunted. three companies structure the lives of MboI:

Ekanga reserved to the healers,

The Otuku for women leaders.

Lilwa and society who control most of the rites of social and religious life of the criconcision to death, through various initiation ceremonies. cef known as Isaiah, plays an important role in village life


Collection Armand Auxietre
Art primitif, Art premier, Art africain, African Art Gallery, Tribal Art Gallery
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