African art > African Statues > Statue Ambete

Relic statue Mbete, Ambete (N° 13642)

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 arranged near the relics does not have a cavity for this purpose. The flat face has a characteristic appearance, offering narrow, semi-closed eyelids represented by cauris, a triangular nose in extension of the forehead, a narrow hollowed-out mouth. The hairstyle is arranged in braids gathered in shells and form a horizontal crenellating. Attached to the tubular bust, the arms are folded at a right angle. Concealing the muscular legs whose flexing heralds a ritual dance, a raphia loincloth. 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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Originex-collection allemande
EthnyAmbete
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood, fibres de raphia
Height60
Width14
Weight5.80 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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