African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbete statue

Mbete statue (N° 21162)

Ancestor worship in the African art of the Mbede, Mbete,or Ambete

. The cult of the ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by these sculpted figures whose dorsal cavity frequently plays the role of a reliquary. This specimen, however, lacks such a cavity. The flat face presents a characteristic physiognomy. The hair is organized in braids gathered in a crest. The arms are bent at right angles to the swollen bust. The bending of the muscular legs announces a ritual dance. Crusty patina, erosions and abrasions.
The Mbete are a tribe from Gabon, on the border of the Middle Congo, neighboring the Obamba, whose history has been marked by a long conflict with the Teke. They do not have a centralized political organization, practice ancestor worship and use statues instead of traditional reliquary boxes.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm81
Width23 cm
Weight5.25 Kg

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