Fang Byeri Angokh Nlo reliquary head
Art and ancestor worship in the Fang tradition
Magnificent African head of Fang origin, a well-known ethnic group from Gabon. The African artistic corpus Fang is especially famous for its famous figures (statues in feet or heads) reliquaries bearing the name of byeri, intended to watch over the bones of the ancestors.
In most areas occupied by the Fang, byeri are full-body statues. However, there are some areas where the byeri is limited to a head stuck on a long neck, as is the case here. Whether heads or statues, the byeri were placed atop bark reliquaries containing the bones, protecting them from theft or sacrilege.
Offerings and sacrifices were regularly dedicated to these pieces in order to activate their protective power.
Fang byeri heads carry the specific name Angokh Nlo. They are differentiated by their hairstyles which are attributable to specific regions. We observe here a particular attribute that we sometimes find: brass eyes.
See the art book: Native Forests, Arts of Atlantic Equatorial Africa, Musée du quai Branly.
- Presumed dating
- Circa 1960
- 35,5 cm
- Ethnic group
- Wood, metal
- François C. Bazelaire, painter and sculptor, Bruxelles
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