French African tribal art collection.
The African art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as "guardians" and embodying the ancestor.
This rare object (reliquary guardian of atypical form?), is formed of a piriform body, with a hollowed center, surmounted by a figurative motif associated with the ancestors of the clan. Patina of use, greyish brown. Cracks.
Among the Fang, the boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were kept by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". Topped by a statue or a head that acted as a guardian of the "byeri" boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the hut, supposed to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in parade.
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