This figure of male ancestor, with a prognathic jaw, was placed on the box of relics of the deceased, which was guarded by the esa , the oldest man in the family. Carved from light-coloured wood, now abrased, the statue bears residual traces of black pigments. The arms are proportionally reduced, the hands rest on a long cylindrical bust. The feet attached to a metal base are slightly eroded. Fach the Fangs of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a Byeri, or reliquary box, in which the bones of illustrious ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the esa. The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or head that acted as the guardian of the 'byeri' boxes, named as the cult to which they resemble. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to society. So, so. During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded, held by the posterior peduncle. (Source: Fang, Perrois)
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