br>Belonging to a Fang lineage, this receptacle with high cylindrical bark walls is now devoid of ancestor relics. The carefully detailed male figure symbolizes the latter. A second, noticeably different subject adorns the outer wall. Patina of use.
Among the Fang of Cameroon and those of 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, intended to deflect evil influences, were kept in the hut. They were also used during initiation ceremonies for young people linked to the "So" society. During festivals, the statues could be separated from their boxes and carried on parade.
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