Tribal art > African Statues > Fang head
Fang head (N° 22897)
African Tribal Art and Funeral Rites
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This Fang head with metal pupils, offering a concave face lodged under a rounded forehead and a horizontal pout, was placed on the reliquary box constituting in a way its bust. Oiled golden brown patina, eroded wood.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are kept. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were surmounted by a statue or head which acted as guardian of the "byeri" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the hut, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. The term Angokh means "full head of the ancestor" because they are representations of deceased chiefs.
During festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in parade.
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