African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Boulou ape
Boulou, Bulu ape statue (N° 19600)
Anthropozoomorphic representations in African art .
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Embodying the spirit of a great ape, this statue embodies an orangutan. Imprisoned in a clay pile, abrus seeds and cowries form a decorative pattern. Crusty surface, red ochre highlights.
The Boulou, an ethnic group of the Fang, live in Cameroon, on the border of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo, on a vast plateau within the equatorial forest near the Bakwele, whose habits and customs are comparable. Like the Fang of southern Cameroon with their white masks of justice, the Boulou also used the Ngil ritual to counter witchcraft and poisoning. Future initiates, following their integration into the secret society, identify with the Ngi , fierce emblematic gorilla. The Ngil society, which carried out, among other things, executions of sorcerers, was banned by the colonial administration. Not compulsory but reserved for certain people, the initiation to the Ngil was very costly. It was only after having put on their mask and accessories that the initiates became "children of the ngil". The Boulou believe in the spirits of the ancestors, bekôn, whose skulls were kept.
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|Material(s)||wood, cauris, seedsd'abrus|
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