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Gallery Ezakwantu

African Art  - Art Africain - Tribal Art -  菲洲艺术 - Afrikanische Kunst


Central and Southern African Tribal Art

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African Axes - Status Axes - Currency Axes

Haches Africaines - Afrikanische Axt












Pende Axe - Congo DRC





This authorative axe dates to the 1950's and sports a flying bird-airplane.





The 5 decorative holes were carved or burned by hand. The blade is adze facing.






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Ceremonial Dance Hoe


Western Zambia





Miniature hoes called Katemokavamwali were danced at Chokwe, Luchazi, Luvale and Mbunda female initiations called mwali in Angola, DRC - Congo and Western Zambia. Katemokavamwali literally means the hoe of the female initiate. Katemo is hoe,  vamwali is of (va) women (mwali) or female initiate... so; Katemo ka vamwali. Katemokavamwali also dances at boys Mukanda ceremonies.




        Ila Speaking Girl with a Katemokavamwali - Zambia                                  Initialled Underside


The wooden blades underside has the initials IVD or MD - carved into a backdrop of a larger "D".





Blades were carved from wood or forged by an ironsmith. This example has a wooden blade, was once part of the Southern African Heinz Papen Collection and most likely dates to 1900 -1920.




Another - Mbunda or Related






This second example boasts a five ringed ivory laminated upper hilt and blade.






By 1900, perhaps before, there was an established tradition of laminating flywhisks, staffs and Chimbuya axes with sections of ivory. This is one of only two ivory inlayed Katemokavamwali known to us, both early collected.







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Ceremonial Dance Axe


Chamba Axe - Cameroon / Nigeria - Samba Axe




Chamba Ceremonial Dance Axe


The blade of this dance axe is a work of 'iron art'. The smith curved the blade forward into a half circle, and then wiggled it upwards into a miniaturized spear. Leather covers the section where the blade enters haft of the axe.


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The Chamba are also known as the Samba-Leko, Samba-Daga and Samba-Bali, but this was not always so. Some 200 years ago, they lost their traditional land to a jihad waged by the Fulani. The Chama were dispersed from what was Chambaland, an area then bordering the Faro and Deo river.


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The same happened again during the mid 19th century. The Chamba were pushed further south by the Yola Fulani, into the mountains of present day Cameroon and Nigeria. In this 'refugee' context, three physically separate sub groups were formed in either country.













Galerie Ezakwantu

Southern African Tribal Art - African Art 


Central and Southern African Tribal Art


Art Africain              頂级菲洲艺术品中心            Afrikanische Kunst




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