This beautiful figure Old African Fang Reliquary Guardian comes from Gabon. This guardian has a woven headdress with attached ancestor figures going around it held in position with cloth.The appearance of Fang reliquary figures varies greatly from region to region. In general, the artists who created these figures apparently were interested in depicting the ancestors through individualized features, such as hairstyle and adornment. Details of the head, including carved crests and hair extensions, refer to the plant-fiber wigs or headdresses once worn by the Fang. Men and women wore these wigs or headdresses. The spiritual connection between the living and the dead takes physical form through reliquaries that represent important ancestors, such as the founders of extended families and villages, or women who have borne many children. The living family not only honors the dead with ceremonies and gifts, but through prayer and ritual they also consult the deceased on significant matters, such as warfare, infertility, and preventing illness. Fang reliquary guardian figures are among the ritual objects used by the Bieri, an association devoted to honoring ancestors in order to obtain their goodwill. These figurative sculptures were placed on top of bark boxes containing the bones of revered ancestors, such as male founders of villages and women with exceptional spiritual powers. These ancestors, the great personages of the local lineage, were called upon to assist the living in solving critical problems and in dealing with issues of importance to the village. This fang reliquary is unique due to the ancestor figures going around the headdress. This is a one of a kind reliquary guardian that would be a wonderful addition to your collection or home.
I HAVE JUST PURCHASED A PRIVATE COLLECTION OF TRIBAL ART THAT HAS WAS COLLECTED IN THE FIELD AND WAREHOUSED FOR 25 YEARS. I AM LISTING THESE WONDERFUL ITEMS FOR SALE.
Shows age and discoloration, part of the woven headdress is missing, cracking and chipping, encrusted patina on the figure, but in good condition.
COMES ON STAND
28" on stand
23 1/2" tall
8" round on the bottom
3 1/2" tall
1 1/4" wide
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