African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Fang Box

Fang Box (N° 14581)

This container has a lid topped with three stylized faces reminiscent of the guardian heads of the byeri reliquary. Three fang figures with protective virtues, arms bent, hands clasped, adorn the walls of the box. Since the reliquary boxes contain the bones of the ancestors are most often made up of bark, this wooden sculpture could also have been used as a medicine container or a box dedicated to divination. The internal walls are lined with residues of yellow ochre vegetable oil.
Geometric patterns and parallel lines are engraved on the matte surface. Desication cracks. Indigenous restorations using metal staples.
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) Oracle boxes were objects carried away by soothsayers who used them for rituals in which elements were placed inside and whose configuration associated with questions posed by the client took on significance. Particular. Divination was very present among the Fang, especially through the association ngil which was essentially tasked with fighting sorcerers and criminals.


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Originex-collection française
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm80
Width30 cm
Weight8.35 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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