Tribal art > African Reliquary > Reliquary Ambete
Reliquary Ambete (N° 23518)
Ancestor worship among the Mbete is accompanied by sculpted figures used as reliquary. The dorsal cavity is indeed filled with nails and bones. The abundant decoration comes in engraved metal plates, embellished with nails, a necklace and a belt made up of iron elements. The arms folded at a right angle are attached to the bust. The semi-flexed muscular legs herald a ritual dance.
Gold and copper metal, abraded matte patina, erosions, cracks.
The Mbete form a tribe of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, close to the Obamba and the Pounou, whose history has been marked by a long-term conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice ancestor worship.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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