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

Ambete reliquary (N° 22595)

Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or Ambete.
Ancestor worship among the Mbete is accompanied by sculpted figures frequently playing the role of reliquary. This statuette offers for this purpose a dorsal cavity encrusted with residual pink ocher pigments. The barrel-shaped morphology and the flat, stylized face, topped with a crest, are specific features of the ambete sculpture. This copy also wears braided raffia accessories, mats, choker and small loincloth.

Grainy patina, desiccation cracks.
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
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height cm34
Width12 cm
Weight0.50 Kg

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