African art > Statues > Statue Fang
Large Fang statue of byeri reliquary (N° 14354)
Several variants of Fang Byeri statues are illustrated in The African Byeri art. Each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a statue or a head that acted as custodian of the "byi" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the company "So". During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded. This statue, intended to be placed in a basket-reliquary by the posterior stalk, is entirely plated with copper slats with a golden reflection joined by staples. Bone beads and cauris adorn his neck. The disproportionate head is covered with a bouquet of feathers.
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The peoples known as Fang, or "Pahouins", described as conquering warriors, invaded in successive leaps, from villages to villages, the entire vast region between the Sanaga in Cameroon and the Ogooué in Gabon, between the 18th and the beginning of the 20th century.
In the depths of their boxes, in a dark and often smoky corner, the heads of line-ups were preciously securing their Byéri, the relic chests and the sculptures that monitored the ". The daily life of the Fangs had three priorities: to perpetuate social identity, to live in a hostile natural environment, to dialogue with the deceased to keep them away from the living. (Louis Perrois)
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|Material(s)||wood, metal, corne, coquillages et plumes|
|Estimated dating||2ème halfxx°|
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