African art > Statues > Statuette Fang
Byeri reliquary keeper statuette (N° 17681)
The tribal art of the Byeri cult is illustrated by various anthropomorphic sculptures acting as 'guardians' and embodying the ancestor. 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 for therapeutic purposes.
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This statuette intended to be boxed in a basket-reliquaire by the posterior stalk, has a concave face where the prognathic machoîre highlights the mouth. It is adorned with metal ankle bracelets and a cord loincloth of vegetable fibers. Satin oiled patina.
The peoples known as Fang, or Pahouins, described as conquering warriors, invaded by successive leaps, from villages to villages, the entire region between the Sanaga in Cameroon and the Ogooué in Gabon, between the 18th and the beginning of the twentieth century.
In the depths of their boxes, in a dark and often smoky nook, the heads of lineages preciously stored their Byéri, the relic chests and the sculptures that undersaw them. The daily life of the Fang had three priorities: perpetuating social identity, living in a hostile natural environment, and dialogue with the deceased to keep them away from the living. (Louis Perrois)
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|Material(s)||wood, metal, plant fibre|
|Estimated dating||2ème halfxx°|
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