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Tribal art > Usual african items > Fon Altar

Altar Asen Gbadota Fon (N° 17960)

Large families kept portable altars made from pieces of metal in a room in the house reserved for this purpose. Known as Asen, these sticks were created for each ancestor, serving as intermediaries between the worlds of the living and the world of the dead. Prayers and offerings were performed during a ceremony called ahanbiba during the dry season. During complex funeral ceremonies, an Asen was dedicated to an ancestor and sacrifices were dedicated to him throughout the year.

Fed of a central axis that was in the ground, ten metal tubes support a circular platform on which a stage takes place. The central figure, which usually represents the deceased, sits on a throne, and a kneeling subject presents him with an offering. All around hang different shapes, including bells, and geometric elements cut out of metal sheets. The characters represent ancestors characterized by their accomplishments before moving into the world of the dead as well as their social rank within the community. The interpretation frequently alludes to proverbs, charades, personal details only known to the sponsor and the sculptor.
Sumery residues are embedded in iron, remnants of libations.
Hauteur 150 cm and 180cm with the base included.  

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Originex-collection allemande
EthnyFon
CountryBénin
Material(s)metal
Height cm143
Depth28 cm
Width25 cm
Weight6.00 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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