African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Boulou ape
Anthropozoomorphic representations in African art .
Embodying the spirit of a great ape, this statue embodies an orangutan. Imprisoned in a clay pile, abrus seeds and cowries form a decorative pattern. Crusty surface, red ochre highlights.
The Boulou, an ethnic group of the Fang, live in Cameroon, on the border of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo, on a vast plateau within the equatorial forest near the Bakwele, whose habits and customs are comparable. Like the Fang of southern Cameroon with their white masks of justice, the Boulou also used the Ngil ritual to counter witchcraft and poisoning. Future initiates, following their integration into the secret society, identify with the Ngi , fierce emblematic gorilla. The Ngil society, which carried out, among other ...