Tribal art > African Statues > Mbede statue
Mbede statue (N° 23172)
Collection of African art P. Malisse.
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Ancestor worship in the African art of the Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete
The cult of the ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these sculpted figures whose dorsal cavity frequently plays the role of a reliquary. This remarkable female statue, sculpted in wood then lined with metal sheets, has a flat face carved into a spherical head without a headdress. The morphology expresses vigor and stability. Attached to the swollen bust, the arms are bent at a right angle. The bending of the thick and muscular legs announces a ritual dance.
Abraded black patina. Eroded feet.
The Mbete form a tribe of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighboring the Obamba, whose history has been marked by a long-term conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice ancestor worship and use statues instead of traditional reliquary boxes.
Ref. : "Congo River", F. Neyt - Mercator Collection, Quai Branly Museum.
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|Origin||Collection Patrick Malisse|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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