African art > Statues > Statuette Fang
Statuette Fang (N° 17418)
The Fang of Cameroon and those of Gabon, like the Kota, make abundant use of metal in statuary.
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Semi-flexed muscular legs, arms extended from the bust, hands resting on one side of the face, this male figure of ancestor of the Byeri, with a face embellished with metal. The light mahogany patina, oiled, is enhanced by the presence of slats and thread of hammered copper featuring traditional jewelry and scarfications. Lacks on the back of the headdress.
Every 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 surmounted by a statue or a head that acted as the guardian of the 'byeri' 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 society. So, so. During the holidays, statues whose vision was forbidden to women, were separated from their boxes and carried in parade. The rites were subject to the absorption of a hallucinogenic plant substance .alan.
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