African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Statue Ambete

Statue Ambete, Mbete (N° 18295)

African art and gabonese reliquary figures
This statue participated in the cult of the Mbete ancestors, a dorsal cavity acting as a reliquary. It was also placed near the baskets containing the bones. The flat face has a characteristic appearance, with cauris evoking narrow half-closed eyelids, a mouth giving it a grimacing appearance.
Attached to the prominent bust, the arms are folded at a right angle. The flexing of the legs would herald a ritual dance. Crusty matte patina.
The Mbete form a people from Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighbouring the Obamba, whose history has been marked by a long-running conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice the worship of ancestors and use statues instead of classical reliquary boxes.  

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Originex-collection allemande
EthnyAmbete
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood, cauris, textile
Height72
Width17
Weight3.55 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°

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