Byeri reliquary figure Fang - SOLD OUT

The style here is very marked and unusual. The massive appearance of the lines and volumes respond to their rather advanced stylization. Note the impressive length of the finely chiseled cap and the absence of eyes, a significant element of a high degree of conceptualization: among the Byeri, the eye is a central element because the guardian must watch over the relics of the deceased. The absence of eyes has a symbolic significance.

The Fang, endowed with a reputation of ferocious cannibals, carved hardwood statues imbued with beauty and mystical serenity whose role was to keep their ancestral relics. They could also be heads in certain specific areas.
These objects of African art were arranged in boxes (or baskets) intended to contain the bones of ancestors venerated and placed in the family tombs.
Heads and figures were exhibited during the initiatory and propitiatory rites of Byeri worship as symbolic substitutes for skulls. Considered as members of the family, their use seems to reflect the inconstancy of human relationships, some lovingly coated with oil and others showing signs of abandonment.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
44 x 14 cm
Expert's estimate
425 - 475 €
Ethnic group
Tribal art collection Belgium
Very good

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