African art > Statues > Statue Ambete
Ambete reliquary cover (N° 16332)
Ex-collection German tribal art.
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Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or AmbeteThe cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these statues whose dorsal cavity frequently plays the role of reliquary. This statue that was placed above the reliquary does not have a cavity for this purpose. The face has a characteristic appearance, offering narrow, half-closed eyelids, a triangular nose, a mouth revealing teeth. The hairstyle is organized in several crests. Attached to the tubular bust, the raised arms are folded at a right angle. Kaolin patina and use of red ochre hues.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighboring obamba, whose history has been marked by a long-running conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, they practice the worship of ancestors.
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