Ex-French tribal art collection. Ritual sculptures of African Fang art. Of majestic proportions, this pair of guardian statues of reliquary " eyema " (from yem: know) presents the characteristic morphology of the protective fetishes of reliquary linked to the traditional rite of the Byéri, cult of the Fang stoms of Gabon, southern Cameroon, and Equatorial Guinea. These statues also appeared during the rites of the So society that structuring the Fang society. The rites of the Ngil, feared by the population, also achieved social justice by unmasking the sorcerers. The so initiations took place every three years, during which boxes containing the relics of ancestors, masks and statues were presented to novices and their symbolism revealed. These slender-bodied effigies show a sagging lower limb, a recurring feature in black African statuary, proportionally reduced arms, tight near the bust, and a bulbous abdomen associated with lineage. The eyes of the female figure are made up of copper pellets, the metal being considered to have apotropaic virtues. Indigenous restorations have also been carried out on the wood using large metal staples. Offerings and libations, daily oil anointings, were commonly practiced for ancestors, with wood testifying. The clear patina is indeed dyed with blackish residue. Desication cracks appeared, remnants of xylophageal attacks also.
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