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Fang Reliquary Guardian Figure on Stand Gabon African Art

Regular Price: $490.00

Special Price: $350.00

Product #: 103474
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Title Fang Reliquary Guardian Figure on Stand Gabon African Art
Type of Object Reliquary Figure (Eyema-o-Bieri Figure)
Country of Origin Gabon, see also Cameroon 
People Fang
Materials Wood, pigment, glass beads
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions Height: 28 Inches
Width: 8 Inches
Depth: 7 Inches
Overall Condition Good
Damage/Repair some shallow cracks, scrapes and scratches. dirt and general wear

Additional Information:  A well carved figure on top of a post with a dark patina.  His arms are short and abstracted.  Made of dense a hard wood and showing a oiled blackened surface. This interesting piece comes from the northern Fang. The firm body with arms formed with important muscles, and the elaborate hairstyle as well as facial details make this piece a classic Fang sculpture.  Equipped with a custom base, this sculpture is ready for immediate display.

During migrations which took place in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries the Fang people moved to their present area becoming part of a complex overlay of population of approximately 200,000, who stretch from southern Cameroon, through Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The Fang organized their lives around the family lineage and venerated their lineage's ancestors at family shrines where memorials or reliquary boxes known as byeri, containing their bones were under the care of an elder known as the Esa. Containers made of either bark or woven basketry was surmounted by sculpted figures that guarded the remains of Fang ancestors.

Known as eyema-o-byeri these guardian figures were a point of contact for veneration of the ancestors and served to witness and validate the initiation rituals of young men. When not in actual use the sculpted figures were generally hidden from view.

Fang figures appear to be slightly crouched with legs bent in a seated position to rest on the container enabling the figures to perch on the edge of the byeri with their legs hanging over the side.