Category Archives: ENGLISH/ FRANCAIS

Some visitors head for my website through GOOGLE TRANSLATE. Sometimes the offered translations into English (ou Francais) are still defective or dark in some crucial points (terms or grammar). So I use Google’s propositions as a ‘trampoline’ to find the right words more or less spontaniously.

Tightly Wrapped Healer (‘Songye’?) on a ‘Soul Journey’


A provisional translation from German original (LINK), by DvG

object documentation (c dvg)

Origin ( Songye?) and significance were unknown to the trader. Origin might be of minor relevance, he said.  But the person has a strong charisma, regardless of the feeding marks, so it’s a work of art! Care and abrasion over a long period of time let the undamaged parts of the surface shine discreetly. So it has been a cult object! Weiterlesen…

“depot number EO.” – A Strong Fetish in Tervuren – REVIEW updated


September 7, 2018 | dvg   Original in German (Link)         A   R E V I E W  UPDATED !

The Way of the Object EO. from Boma to Belgian Exile

For those who want to know the whole story, they have BMGN – Low Countries Historical Review, vol.133-2 (2018) pp. 79-90) in their June No. uploaded (LINK).

Good to read, vivid, not too long


“The Whites hold our Spirits !”- Submission, Sorcery and Alienation


READER  of  three reports  which offer views from additional perspective. They demand and invite to further reflexion.

Please, take your time with your own print-outs (9 pp. 97% PC) as I will do.


     Jan Vansina: Paths in the Rainforests (1990) chapter 8 (overview)  
     Pierre Petit: Power and Alienation among the Luba of Katanga (1996)
     Zoé S. Strother: Suspected in sorcery (1996)


Être “LUBA” – Ce que le nom signifie hier et aujourd’hui




Dans mes recherches autour d’un tabouret miniature «Karyatide» (Blog en Allemand: “Frauen in tragender Stellung” ; LINK), des divers aspects ont fait surface, surtout celui de caractéristiques ethniques ou régionales supposées.


Francois Neyt

C’est tout à fait normal de recontrer la notion « lubaîsé » appliquée aux voisins des ‘Luba’, souvent pour signaliser une domination de leur style royal dans toute la sphère d’influence de l’ancien Royaume des Luba, peut-être censée trop évidente pour la remettre en question. Weiterlesen…

Francfort sur Main. Brocante en 2019 – Illumination spontanée du Moine



Écrit le 12.2., rédigé le 8.3.2019  (2nd version d’un Allemand)   Original allemand :LINK


La pièce devant moi serait-il authentique? Incroyable.
Je ne comprends toujours pas le marché mondial. Comment les biens matériels peuvent-ils migrer si indétectables? La richesse, incroyablement concentrée dans notre région, les suce irrésistiblement.


MATALA: Beautiful Dancer of the Eighties (Mask, Pende)


NEW EDITION  07.03.2019  (First edited 31.12.2018) WITH DEBATE AND 4 PHOTOS BY MARVIN GOERTZ

Link to the German Version (since 28.12.18)


Preliminary Note

There is so much malnutrition in the Bandundu Province that people have not been dancing much since 1990” (Z.S.Strother, 2007) “Although the masking situation in the Bandundu was unhealthy in 2007, in 2017-18 there were a number of (large) mukanda camps in the Kasai” (Z.S.Strother, Jan. 2019)


Once upon a time …. The Pende liked dance performances like crazy. Social event! Weiterlesen…

Charles Ratton et la Question de «Provenance»


 Ma plus belle version francaise – Des citations en anglais en version originale!

La version originale du texte est en Allemand: (Link)

A l’occasion d’une exposition de laboratoire au Weltkulturenmuseum, Frankfurt/Main


 Les différentes voix, dans l’ordre de leur première apparition:

  1. Gesammelt Gekauft Geraubt – eine Laborausstellung 2018 im Weltkulturenmuseum, Frankfurt am Main, 15.8. 2018 bis 1.9.2019 (Link)
  2.  Anciens Senateurs IIIème République: Maurice de Rothschild“  (Link)
  3. Tribute to a Tastemaker: Charles Ratton raised the profile of tribal art and was ahead of his time in realising its commercial potential Gareth Harris, Financial Times July 19, 2013 (Link?) FT
  4. Charles Ratton – L’Invention des Arts Primitifs 2013 – numéro 586 hors-série très belle de „Connaissance des Arts“  avec le Musée Quai Branly: préface Stéphane Martin; „Un Regard Neuf“ – entretien avec Philippe Dagen et Maureen Murphy
  5. Les statues meurent aussi  film d’ Alain Resnais’ und Chris Marker 1951 (Link youtube 30′)
  6.  Primitivismus in der Kunst des zwanzigsten Jahrhundert N.Y. 1985, Einleitung (Introduction) du directeur William Rubin et l’article de Jean-Luis Paudrat „Aus Afrika“ (Prestel édition allemande)
  7.  Der Mann mit den Masken – Das Jahrhundertleben des Werner Muensterberger von Lisa Zeitz, Berlin-Verlag 2013 – W.M. (1913-2013), un ami de Charles Ratton (1897-1986) comme client et élève
  8. La Découverte différée des objets Kuyu von Anne-Marie Bénézech  49 S. abondamment illustrieré comme pdf du MEG (Link), Musée d’Ethnologie de Genève, connu pour son engagement  dans le récherche des provenances (Link)


An expressive Mbangu Mask, Central Pende


Translated from the German Original (Link)

 26cm high (visible 23) , 17.5 cm wide, 460g

26cm high (visible 23) , 17.5 cm wide, 460g – Click to enlarge the icons



The mask is sweepingly generalized, inside coarse, but functional, e.g. with its wide channel between the eye openings. My face fits in perfectly, the view slightly downward is good. The edges are slightly rounded and show some shine. Willy knows the wood from Pende masks,

The front of the mask shows no superfluous cut or smoothing. So the the area covered by the cap was treated only with the chisel. On the black right side, slight blade marks give additional dynamics to the surfaces.

From the beginning I associate the performance of an excited dancer who is set to play the role of the cursed but militant man. Weiterlesen…

Zwischen Stilleben und Landschaft – Taschenalbum 1932 (aktuell!)



Hochgeladen am 14.12.2016

English Translation and a wonderful painting dated 1932 and signed Wiegmann – like emerging out of the fog!  


Ein kleines Taschenalbum von 11 cm Breite und  6 cm Höhe, in rotes Kunstleder gebunden, enthält heute noch sechzehn fotografische Reproduktionen von Bildern Wiegmanns vom Beginn der dreißiger Jahre. Die kräftigen Hochglanzfotografien von 6 x 4 cm  bis 8 x  5 1/2 cm  sind auf hellgraues oder grünes Papier geklebt, passend für die Zellophan-Taschen. Wir blicken auf sie wie aus großer Entfernung. Sie wirken in ihren kräftigen Schwärzen wie Miniaturen. Man ahnt mehr als man sieht. Details gehen unter, aber das scheint den Benutzer nicht zu stören. Die Bilder sind einfach da. Ikonen. War dies ein Album für die Westentasche, für das Reisegepäck zur eigenen Rückversicherung oder als künstlerische Visitenkarte für unvorhergesehene Gelegenheiten? Weiterlesen…

Social Defense in Northern Ivory Coast 1990 – 2011 (Blog version)


I published a Short Report of the Study in my Blog (in German)   Here is an English Translation in a provisional version!   21.5.2018  v.Graeve  (Revised 6.8.2018)


Politique africaine no.148 – décembre 2017, p.109-129


The term ‘social defense’  may be not as common today as it was in the seventies and eighties (Link: Wikipedia), but it fits to the features of the crisis and activities described in the essay. 
The title of Till Förster’s dossier says freely translated: “Peace in a War Zone. The Ivorian crisis viewed from below and over a long period”. The focus lies on ‚Islands of peace’ in the area around Korhogo and Boundiali on the Ivory Coast. The author has done extensive fieldwork ever since 1979 to the present.
My ’translation’ is not authorized and does not claim to be literal. I want to popularize the fascinating story secluded in an academic paper. And to retell Till Foerster’s  fascinating story in my way. The chiffres in bracket refer to the corresponding page in the original.


Songye – Belande -Luba : ‚Nkishi’ miniature


Published 14 february 2017

Original Version:  10 february 2017

What kind of figure?

Songye Miniatur IMG_8314Fetish (Nkishi): openings in the back and navel

Slave: her hands bound together – Felix (100 Peoples) mentions the traditional status of slaves.It cannot be someone else.

Beautiful woman: elaborate noble hairstyle with shaved forehead, straight and quite long neck with three rolls; The woman wears 11 tiny copper nails as ornament: 3 from the nose to the back, 2 to the eyes, 6 to the right and left of the temples; she has expressive bean eyes (elevations plus nails) and a disarming smile like a smiley face .She looks directly at the viewer with raised and marked eyebrows and sharp eyes, Her smile conveys serenity.She is very pregnant with an attractive belly, hollow lower back and nice buttocks.The attitude is impeccable. The master did nothing superfluous: no jewels on the fuselage (So sure, that she is Songye!) Weiterlesen…



  • Link au text original

25 janvier 2017|dvg

Keller mit Schrein-IMG_2242Le groupe de figures Yombe a initié, il y a un an, le “Projet Congo” sur ce page Web mais il n’est y pas arrivé ici jusqu’à ce jour.

Je commence par les descriptions de la femme et du chien pour faire regarder les deux de plus près. Je présente des lieux où on trouvent tels groupes de figures, et je vais finir avec quelques réflexions sur la figure mâle.


Rider on leopard – from the Mbala, neighbors of the Yaka


Published: 17 february 2017

Original version  22 january 2017


A delicate double figure of a land chief, 32 cm high. Dark patina shining red on the edges, dense wood. Condition: Good. It was part of a family treasure. I cannot say how old, as Mobutu since 1965 has modernized and solidified the rights of those who traditionally possessed the ground. A remarkable resistance to the German climate points to an earlier date of making. Weiterlesen…