Tribal Figures

African tribal figures have been made and used for many purposes for centuries. They can be made from many different materials, wood, bronze, iron, brass, terracotta and even fabric. Its not only the material that a figure is made of that differs but also figures can range from a very small carving to the very large pieces that stand on the outside of homes for protection.

It is not always clear to what a figure may represent or for what its usage is but they do all have their own significant purpose held in great regard by the specific tribe they belong to. Figures made include fertility, maternity, ancestral, reliquary, Ibeji (twins), fetish, shrine, divination and also guardian figures that protect the perimeter of villages and many more.

African figures are used and worshiped in a very serious manner, time is always taken to ritually look after, feed and pour libations over them, as many tribes are very spiritual and use the figures as a connection to their deity and such processes have to be carried out in order to keep the relevant worshiped deity happy and content.

Figures combine strong formal elements significant to their own tribe, and not always carved in proportion. Their expressive quality places them unmistakably at the start of the African sculptural tradition.

Ewe Venavi or Venovi Figure

These figures embody the traditional double appearance of twins. The Ewe people call them Venavi, and they are revered. The modern appearance is explained by the fact that dead twins are seen as living people, because they have accepted modern ways.

Ogoni Amanikpo Marionette

Amanikpo is the most powerful and dreaded cultural group in Ogoni. Ogoni is a major tribe, near Port-Harcourt, in Rivers State, Nigeria. Membership is either core or regular. Unlike core , regular members only enjoy freedom of passage where the group is performing;

Guro Maternity Figure

Beautiful and rare Guro Maternity Figure with a stunning symmetry. This wonderful figure comes from the village of Zenoula south west of the Ivory Coast. Previous to having a stand this lovely maternity figure will have spent some of its life simply lying down on its back which is shown by the very visible wear marks to the back of the

Senufo Pombia Rythym Pounder

During funeral processions, male and female pombia figures are carried by the upper arms, swung from side to side and pounded on the ground regularly. This is to drive away evil spirits thus creating a smooth and safe passage for the deceased's spirit into the land of ancestors.

Senufo Pombia Rythym Pounder

During funeral processions, male and female pombia figures are carried by the upper arms, swung from side to side and pounded on the ground regularly. This is to drive away evil spirits thus creating a smooth and safe passage for the deceased's spirit into the land of ancestors.

Dogon Mythical Animal Rider Figure

A stunning Dogon mythical animal and rider figure. This is one of those Dogon animals that keeps you guessing. Dogon art presents a broad range of object types and styles. Among the human figures alone, some are well over life-size, while others are barely a few inches in height.

Senufo Wambele Figure (RESERVED)

These very rare Senufo Wanyugo Wambele figure came from a village in Dicodougou. I have only every seen one other of these figures before but with are removable Kponyungo (single headed) helmet rather than the Wanyugo (double headed) helmet.

Kuba King Figure

An absolutely exquisite carving of a Kuba King Figure in the representation of king Mbop aMabiinc maKyeen [Bope Mobinji Kena], (1939 - 1969). This figure is dated 1954 by the sculptor who carved his name on the underside of the base. M├ędar Paul JHedoi

Ewe Venavi or Venovi Figure

The Ewe people of Ghana celebrate the birth of twins as a good omen. Twins known as Venovi, lead a life of parallel experiences as they are fed, bathed, and similarly dressed.However if one of the

Dan Stilt Dancer Trophy Figure

These Dan stilt dancer trophy figures / dolls that come from the Ivory Coast represent the actual dancers and would be made in their honour and kept in their home like a trophy for their expertise and prowess in dancing

Dogon Nommo Ancestor Plank Figure

A figure with raised arms is one of the most common types of Dogon sculpture. This gesture can be found on relatively naturalistic Dogon figures as well as on those that have been transformed into arrangements of geometric shapes, like this example.

Dogon Togu na Post

Togu means shelter ( referring more precisely to the roof) na means " big", " great" or "mother" therefore the Togu na is the "great shelter" or " the mother shelter". The Dogon also refer to it as " house of words" ( words uttered in the Togu na take on a value and importance which make them different from any other words)

Dan Figure

Dan people have achieved notoriety for their entertainment festivals, which were village ceremonies, but are today performed largely for important visitors. During these festivals, masked performers dance on stilts.

Dogon Maternity Figure

This kind of wooden statues were commonly used as shrine figures, in order to ensure births and prosperity to the village. This piece would have been kept on a Binu shrine in the village and would have been covered in sacrificial libations

Dogon Couples Wedding Marriage Statue

Dogon - Marriage and Family Marriage. Monogamy is the major form of marriage, although nonsororal polygyny with a limit of two wives is permitted. First marriages are generally arranged by parents; within certain limitations, those marrying for the second or third time are more free to choose their partners.

Dogon Primordial Couple

This work's scale and complexity have led scholars to suggest that it may have been created for display at the funerals of influential Dogon men. The graphic composition constitutes an eloquent statement concerning the distinct and yet complementary roles of male and female partners as a unit of life.

Dogon Primordial Couple Statue

A very large and stunning Dogon primordial couple statue, this beautiful early 20th Century piece has real impact standing at 140cms tall. This was from an old collection of a now sadly deceased UK collector. The style of this piece states that this is the craftsmanship of the Bombu-Toro, southern part of the Bandiagara Cliffs.

Rare Dan Guere Spoon

A very rare Dan Guere spoon, this beautiful piece is very different to a "wake mia or wunkirmian", as this is not a feasting spoon but one only ever used for agricultural rites ceremonies. Once an agricultural ceremony is arranged and in place this spoon has a scoop like place on the handle that libations are poured.

Dogon Bafalon Players Figure

A nice old Dogon bafalon players figure from Mali. This figure has a an aged and eroded patina, and very little insect damage. It has a few age cracks but stable ,A really beautiful item. These two figures are depicted playing the balafon, a type of xylophone composed of a series of wooden slats attached to gourd resonators.

Bulu Monkey Figure

A fantastic old Bulu Monkey Figure is adorable! Its posture suggests it is offering due to being down on one knee, using its tail as support and holding out what it has in its hand.

Bamana Merekun Puppet

A large and stunning Merekun puppet from the Bamana people of Mali. There are scrapes and scuffs, the metal adornments are rusty and it has still got remains of old red cloth under the metal adornments which is rare to find.

Mossi Biiga Fertility Doll

The biiga doll is washed and dressed and carried on the back just like a real child would be.

Mossi Biiga Fertility Doll Figure

The biiga doll is washed and dressed and carried on the back just like a real child would be.