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

Ambété Statue (N° 25250)

Statues of lineage or clan leaders in the African art of the Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete.
The worship of the onkani ancestors, among the Mbete, is surrounded by African figures such as this sculpture whose gaping dorsal cavity conceals fragments of bone. The headdress depicts the braided hair gathered in shells. The bust, proportionally stretched, is framed by short arms tight against the body. The muscular legs seem to be about to dance.
Thick coating of white clay, red ocher highlights, desiccation cracks, chips.
The Mbete form a tribe of Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, close to the Obamba and the Pounou, whose history has been marked by a long-term conflict against the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice ancestor worship.  

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OriginEx-collection française
Height cm72
Width15 cm
Weight2.25 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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