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Tribal art > African Statues > Fang head

Fang head (N° 23652)

Reliquary heads whose pupils are encrusted with copper. Ritual removals were frequent from sculptures of this type. Abraded and velvety patina of use, erosions, desiccation cracks.
Height on base: 27 cm.
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 a 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. During the festivals, the statues were separated from their boxes and carried in parade, held by the posterior peduncle. (Source: "Fang", Perrois)  

 


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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyFang
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm23
Width16 cm
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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