Exquisite relic figure - Wood - Ambete - Gabon

Description
Exquisite relic figure - Wood - Ambete - Gabon
approx. middle of last century - Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

Ambete / Mbete figures.
The Ambete (Mbete, Mbede, Mbete and Mbeti), of Kota origin, live in the Republic of Congo, close to the north border
of Gabon. Certain ethnological and sociological aspects of their lives are relatively well known, and we know that the secret societies were numerous and powerful. They practiced ancestor worship and carved three types of sculptures: heads, busts and complete figures. They were either used either as reliquaries or placed next to ancestral bones in a basket. Heads and busts were probably positioned on rods and placed in front of the chief’s house. They may have had an apotropaic and symbolic purpose. As an alternative, statues with a dorsal cavity or the body itself, could take on the form of reliquary box
The upper part of the statuette was long, and the back was equipped with a box-shaped hollow space in which the relics were placed, a small door with cord sealed the cavity.

Lot details
Object
Exquisite relic figure
Ethnic group/ culture
Ambete
Region/ country
Gabon
Material
Wood
Period
approx. middle of last century
Condition
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
No
Dimensions
57×0×0 cm
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