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African art - Reliquary:

In Africa, reliquaries are the guardians of buried ancestors. They may hold bones or the skulls of deceased dignitaries, chiefs or warriors, which are kept in sacred concessions. Reliquaries are also receptacles, often cylindrical wicker baskets, intended for the preservation of relics, a practice that is widespread in Central Africa among the Kota, Fang and Tsogho. Some reliquaries, such as the Ambete, are statues with a receptacle placed in the back.


Kota Reliquary
African art > Reliquaries, statues > Kota Reliquary

French African art collection.
This African sculpture "mbulu-ngulu", plated with metal according to the kota tradition, forms a stylized image of the ancestor, a coat of arms also for the clan, and is generally distinguished by the shape of the headdress , variable depending on the region.
The Kota inhabit the eastern part of Gabon, which is rich in iron ore, and some in the Republic of Congo. The blacksmith, in addition to wood carving, made tools for agricultural work as well as ritual weapons. The sculptures playing the role of "medium" between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were associated with the rites at the bwete , comparable to those of the Fang . They surmounted the baskets containing the mortuary remains of the ancestors of high ...


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280.00

Fang head
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Fang head

Reliquary sculpture assembling three faces whose pupils are encrusted with copper. Ritual removals were frequent from sculptures of this type. The top bears crusty residues of ritual anointings. Abraded patina of use, erosions, desiccation cracks.
Height on base: 30 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 ...


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290.00

Kwele Reliquary
African art > Puppets, dolls > Kwele Reliquary

Rare representation of a Tsogho ancestor in the form of a statue with articulated limbs. The back has a cavity intended for relics such as small bones. The face is like the traditional masks of the group. Matte patina, faintly colored highlights, drying cracks.
The Mitsogho ethnic group, Sogho, is established in a forest region on the right bank of the Ngoumé river, Ngounié, near the Kwele. Bwiti society, which has a system of reliquaries comparable to that of the Fang and Kota, formed the cohesion of the Mitsogho matrilineal clans. Their masks were displayed during funerals, and stored in the ebanza male initiation house. Like other ethnic groups in Gabon, they practice the rites of Bwiti which would have spread in this way among the coastal peoples. Their sculptural production is ...


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150.00

Mbete Statue
African art > Reliquaries, statues > Mbete Statue

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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390.00

Tsogho Reliquary
African art > Reliquaries, statues > Tsogho Reliquary

"Mbumba Bwiti", bust of an ancestor rising from a base-load composed of clay materials, small bones, textiles and plant fibres. Pink patina, abrasions.
The Mitsogho ethnic group, Sogho, is established in a forest region on the right bank of the Ngoumé River, Ngounié, near the Kwele. Bwiti society, which has a system of reliquaries comparable to that of the Fang and the Kota, formed the cohesion of the Mitsogho matrilineal clans. Their masks were exhibited at funerals, and stored in the ebanza male initiation house. Like the other ethnic groups of Gabon, they practice the rites of the Bwiti which would have spread in this way among the coastal peoples. Their sculptural production is varied, in the form of statues, masks, reliquary guardians, pillars, doors and panels, musical ...


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390.00

Fang Reliquary
African art > Reliquaries, statues > Fang Reliquary

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 ...


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490.00

Ambete reliquary
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Ambete reliquary

Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete.
Ancestor worship among the Mbete is accompanied by sculpted figures frequently playing the role of reliquary. This statuette offers for this purpose a dorsal cavity encrusted with residual pink ocher pigments. The barrel-shaped morphology and the flat, stylized face, topped with a crest, are specific features of the ambete sculpture. This copy also wears braided raffia accessories, mats, choker and small loincloth.

Grainy patina, desiccation cracks.
The Mbete form a tribe of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, close to the Obamba and the Pounou, whose history has been marked by a long-term conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice ancestor ...


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240.00

Fang reliquaries
African art > Reliquaries, statues > Fang reliquaries

The African art of the cult of Byeri is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as 'guardians' and embodying the ancestor. Ancient loom pulleys fang, adorned with statuettes of reliquary keepers. Beautiful satin patina, residue of abrased polychromy. Erosions of use.
The boxes containing the relics of illustrious ancestors were kept by the oldest man in the village, the esa. Surmounted by a statue or head that acted as the guardian of the 'byeri' boxes, they were stored in a dark corner of the box, supposed to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to society. So, so. During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded. Pre-events were carried out on some statues ...


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590.00





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