Tribal art > African Statues > Mbete statue
Mbete statue (N° 23413)
Statues of ancestors in the African art of the Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete.
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The worship of the ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by statues embodying an ancestor, chief or dignitary, and of which a dorsal cavity contains the remains. The relics of the ancestors can also be collected in anthropomorphic boxes of which this type of sculpture served as a lid. The head offers a blind, grimacing face. Kaolin patina and red ocher highlights. Minimal desication erosions and cracks.
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 the "onkani" ancestor worship still in use.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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