African art > Reliquaries, statues > Mbete Statue
Mbete Statue (N° 24707)
The cult of the ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these sculpted figures whose back has a reliquary cavity. A stocky subject is wearing braids arranged in a quadruple crest, which accentuate the impressive character of his features. The barrel bust has a hollowed out space. Legs ready to leap suggest a ritual dance.
Dark abraded patina. 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 ancestor worship and use statues instead of traditional reliquary boxes.
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|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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