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Janus Reliquary Figure – Wood – Fang – Gabon




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SKU: 26.37 Category: Tags: , , ,

Great Fang 3-faced reliquary figure from Gabon.
The Fang ethnic group number about 900,000 and constitute a vast village communities, established in a large zone of Atlantic equatorial Africa: consisting Cameroon, continental Equatorial Guinea and northern part of Gabon, on the right bank of the Ogowe River. Fang people used masks and statues/figures in their secret societies, the “bieri”, or ancestor sculpture. They celebrate this figure when a new crop was planted or before fishing or going hunting. The Fang bieri has the proportion of a new born, this emphasizing the groups’ continuity with its ancestor and with (three faces); the three classes of society: the “not-yet-born”, the living and the dead. This stunning fine figure shown here was also used for the initiation of young males into their secret societies as members.
Light wooden figure in good condition with traces of tribal use.

Provenance: Justin Barthels (1934-2021), gallery owner Maastricht (NL).

Object: Janus Reliquary Figure
Ethnic group/ culture: Fang
Region/ country: Gabon
Material: Wood
Period: 2nd half 20th century
Condition: Good
Dimensions: 46×15×11 cm
Weight: 1300 g



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