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Byeri Fang Reliquary Keeper (N° 17099)

Br-Guardians of reliquary in the African art of Gabon
This male figure embodies the spirit of the ancestors. A tribal sculpture of great aesthetic quality, it was preserved by the esa, the oldest man in the family, and was stored in the reliquary basket in which the bones of the ancestors were kept. The rhythm of the angles, headdress, breasts, musculature, joins, contrasts with the tubular volumes. Very present, the tubular element at the umbilical symbolizes the filial bond. By the care given to the physiognomy, an intense concentration seems to emanate, reinforced by the attitude of the hands gathered on the bust. Smooth black patina, erosions located on one foot and the sides of the headdress.
This type of object was placed in a dark corner of the box. The relics of the most remarkable ancestors were kept in cylindrical bark boxes near the layer of the lineage chief, initiated by the family cult of the Byri . Surmounted by a human effigy that affirmed their identity, they contributed to the protection of their descendants through regular sacrifices. Their function was to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the company "So". The initiation rites, forbidden to women and children, took place under the influence of a hallucinogenic substance, the Alan , borrowed from the Pygmies. But during some celebrations, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded.  

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Originex-collection Demanche
EthnyFang
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood
Height cm44
Width12 cm
Weight1.20 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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