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This mask represents one of the three most important and typologically oldest of the over 25 different mbuya masqueraders of the Pende. Known as giwoyo, muyombo, or ginjinga, they can be identified solely on the basis of their costume, headdress, paraphernalia, and dance style. All three mask figures are characterized by a carved face with an elongation under the chin that apparently represents a beard (mwevu), a sign of authority and wisdom of the ancestors. Danced at hunting and harvest rites and on other festive occasions, the masks ensure the community’s well being.
African Plural Art was born from my deep love of African Art and culture – particularly that of Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), West Africa, where I grew up.
The Ivory Coast, a diverse cultural blend of ethnic groups, is renowned for its craftspeople. From an early age, the convergence of culture, art, and business shaped my everyday experiences.
Now a proud US citizen, I live and work in California, where I started up a new African tribal art gallery – African Plural Art. I count myself lucky to be able to remain connected to African art and culture through my work. Because of my online gallery, I'm surrounded by artwork and tribal artifacts crafted by talented artists from across Africa.
My goal is to introduce the distinctive beauty of African art objects (including both tribal artifacts and contemporary pieces) to people looking for artisan designs to add an ethnic touch to their home or business. African Plural Art sells handcrafted, one-of-a-kind collectors' items, statement jewelry, and decorative art for homes and businesses.
The art pieces available on africanplualart.com originate primarily from West Africa, where I have established a trusted network of contacts. I regularly visit local artists, villages, and collectives, with each item being personally chosen either by myself or by a carefully selected network of knowledgeable, trusted colleagues. This enables us to collect a wide variety of unique objects of excellent quality. As a result of this network, we are continually discovering extraordinary new objects from different countries throughout Africa.
Each piece is exceptionally unique, charged with emotion, and engenders a visceral response in the observer. Occasionally, in the course of their use, art pieces may have suffered, and have subsequently been repaired by the villagers themselves. This in no way detracts from the beauty and purpose of each art pieces; on the contrary, it adds to the unique character and charm of the work.
Solange Mallett, African Plural Art
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An Online African Art Gallery based in San Francisco that sells Tribal Artifacts & Handcrafted Art for people who want to add a unique, Ethnic touch to their Homes & businesses.
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