Old Tribal Artifacts

Types of Tribal Artifacts

Old Tribal Artifact come from four major regions. Oceanic or Pacific Artifacts come from all the islands of the Pacific Ocean and Papua New Guinea. African Artifact comes from all the countries in Africa but main not ancient Egypt. Native Artifacts come from North America and Canada. Aboriginal Artifact are from Australia. The Artifacts from Indonesia are considered as Asian Artifacts although much of it looks old tribal Artifacts.


Old tribal Artifacts have numerous different object types. These objects include masks sculpture weapons and utilitarian objects. The most collectible old tribal Artifacts are sculpture and masks.


I buy and sell old Tribal Artifacts. If you have a piece of old tribal Artifact to sell please feel free to contact me. If you just want to know what your antique tribal Artifact is or what it is worth that is fine. I am always happy to see new pieces.


Although I specialize in Oceanic and Aboriginal Antique tribal  Artifact I have good contact with experts in all fields.


Collectible Old Tribal Artifacts

The most important factor in determining if an old tribal Artifact is collectible is whether it is for indigenous use or made for sale. For every indigenously used tribal Artifact, there are a dozen later examples that are later tourist examples. Collectors of old tribal Artifacts collect old indigenously used pieces.

Collectors tend to specialize in one art area because there is just so much to learn. Some may even specialize in one old tribal Artifact type like Aboriginal weapons or Oceanic masks.

Old Tribal Artifacts by Region

Maori House post figure

Oceanic Tribal Artifacts

Oceanic art can be roughly divided into two regions.

Polynesian art which is the most collectible and Melanesian which includes New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Very little sculpture comes from Polynesia and even fewer masks.

The Polynesian material tends to be more refined and better finished and is more valuable.

Yipwon Sculpture Sepik River PNG

Solomon Island Figure

Easter Island Figure

Turama River Sculpture

Papua New Guinea

Luba Stool

African Art

African art has the largest number of collectors. This is partly because so many European countries once had colonies in Africa. It is also because Africa produces more sculpture than any other area.

Fakes are quite common if African art and these are not just tourist pieces but pieces made to look older than they are. Due to the number of high quality fakes provenance of pieces is often important.

Africa material often has a very dark or black patina. Some of the oldest material oozes oil from generations of handling.

Fang Ancestor Sculture

Dan Mask

Benin Bronze Sculpture

Yaure mask

Plains Native American Head Dress

Native American Antique Tribal Art

Native American tribal Art can be roughly divided into three main groups.

Plains Art consists mainly of weapons blankets adornments and clothing.

NW Coast Tribal Art

NW coast art produces some of the most sort after sculpture and masks in all of Antique Tribal Art. Some of the best-known works come from the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.

NW coast art produces some of the most sort after sculpture and masks in all of Antique Tribal Art. Some of the best-known works come from the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.

Yu’pik mask

Canadian and Alaskan Tribal Art

The Yu’pik produced some of the most haunting and collectible masks. Ancient Okvik walrus tusk sculptures are also rare and sort after.

Snow Goggles

Ancient walrus Ivory sculpture

Queensland Rain forest Shield

Aboriginal Tribal Art

Aboriginal tribal art has relatively few collectors but these few collectors are passionate. The majority of collectible Aboriginal antique tribal art is weapons. Aboriginal art that is not old or indigenously used can also be very collectible but is not really Antique Aboriginal tribal art.

Some aboriginal art is of a secret and sacred nature and is not shown at museums. It is often not traded in Australia but is often sold in Europe and America.

Darling River Boomerangs

Selling Old Tribal Artifacts

If you are thinking of selling Authentic old tribal Artifacts then you should use a specialist. The majority of antique auctioneers do not know much about old Tribal Artifacts. As a result, they often describe things wrongly and pieces often drastically undersell. I buy many underpriced pieces of old tribal art from auction every year.

Tribal Artifact Value

It can be quite daunting to find out the value of an old Tribal Artifact. It is best to find a person who specializes. Often dealers will pay well for pieces especially if they are old and indigenously used. Although I specialize in  New Guinea and Aboriginal Artifacts I have great contacts for African and Native-American pieces.

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy Easter Island sculpture or Tiki Sculpture

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