The term African tribal art refers to religiously charged ritual objects or extraordinary utensils from sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, tribal art from Africa embodies the artistic output of many different ethnicities, meaning that its range is incredibly broad. What connects them however, is that such African art is intended to forge a strong bond to the gods and ancestors. Masks, figures and sculptures are intended to ward off evil powers and sickness, while simultaneously symbolizing fertility. Such objects are usually fashioned from wood or stone due to the rural structures and climatic conditions of their environment.
A peculiarity of African art is that there is a strict separation between art and craftsmanship. African tribal art primarily serves a social, religious or ritual purpose. Although high levels of artistry and aesthetic beauty were important factors in such items, this was not an end in itself. Instead, such qualities served to improve their actual function in the running of everyday tribal affairs. Without a doubt, sub-Saharan African tribal art boasts an inimitable aesthetic. Every item embodies a powerful expressive force that radiates the magic of Africa.
Tribal art from Africa in the shop
The term oceanic tribal art refers to the artistic utensils and ritual objects of the Melanesians, Polynesians, Maori, Micronesians, Easter Islanders or Australian aborigines. Although art developed differently in the various oceanic regions, there are a number of shared characteristics: the close connection to religion, death cult, ancestral reverence and the significance of masks. The most common artworks consist of wood carvings, paintings and weavings in various styles. Masks in particular play an important role in religious ceremonies and social rituals and are closely tied to oceanic culture.
The most important branches of oceanic tribal art are Micronesia, Polynesian and Melanesian art. The sphere of Micronesian tribal art consists mainly out of richly decorated objects for everyday use such as expressive sculptures and weavings. Melanesian art from New Guinea and the surrounding islands is characterized by decorative architecture, sculptures and paintings dedicated to the themes of the ancestral cult, fertility and hunting. In contrast, Polynesian art is famous for its moai statues on the Easter Islands, as well as the hermaphroditic Uli-dignitaries from New Ireland in the Bismarck Archipelago.
Oceanic tribal art in the shop