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Ambete Reliquary Figure 32 Inch African Art

Product #: 90302
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Title Ambete Reliquary Figure 32 Inch African Art
Type of Object Figure , reliquay or memorial figure
Country of Origin Gabon , Republic of Congo
People Ambete
Materials wood, pigment, cowry shells
Approximate Age mid 20th Century
Dimensions 32 inches x 8 inches W.
Overall Condition Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair chip damage in head, damage in buttocks, cracks in places

Additional Information:  This wonderful standing Memorial Figure comes from the Ambete people.

The Ambete live along the border between present day Gabon and the south eastern region of the Republic of Congo. It is an area that in the past saw great population movements and extended trade between different people resulting in shared ritual and sculptural traditions. Like their Kota speaking neighbors the Ambete make use of reliquary figures to honor and commemorate important lineage members. Most Ambete reliquary figures have a small opening in the back of the figure that would be covered by a small door to hold the bones of an ancestor. The opening in this figure is empty.  We will probably not know what was inside. This figure is a striking figure that carries a great deal of visual presence. The strong body has small parallel arms as well as slightly modeled legs and feet and sex is nt apparent. The face is expressionistically powerful with cowry shells serving as eyes, a  short triangular nose, and an open rectangular mouth without indication of teeth. The head is made of carved braids .  The figure has been painted several times with local white pigment. The war brown surface comes as a result of ritual use .The figure appears to have some age to it due to the worn surface.

I have examined this piece and agree with the description

Niangi Batulukisi, Ph.D.