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Byeri Female Fang Figure from Gabon

SKU: AFTA142 Categories: , Tag:


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About this piece

A beautiful Byeri Female Fang Figure from Gabon.

The power of this statuette from Byeri is derived from the multiple rounded, protruding muscles and hypnotic eyes made of mirrors. The head resembles the formal aspect of the repository heads of the Byeri. It has a smooth, satin-like patina, is worn on the raised features and has traces of infestation. The population, known as the Fang or “Pahouins”, described as conquering warriors.  They were constantly invaded by villages in the entire vast region of the Sanaga in Cameroon and the Ogooue in Gabon during the 18th and early 20th century. They never had political unity. The cohesion of the clans was maintained through religious and judicial associations such as the So and Ngil. At the bottom of their huts, in a dark and often smoky corner, the chiefs of lineages stored their precious Byéri, the relic chests and tribal sculptures which were there to “watch over” them. The daily life of the Fang had three priorities, to perpetuate their social identity, survival in a hostile natural environment and communicate with the dead and keep them away from the living. (Louis Perrois)

The bones of the deceased were kept in boxes surmounted by a sculpture that was supposed to watch over the relics.

Item details

Weight 1.10 kg
Dimensions 11 × 40 cm

Ex Swiss Private Collection

Estimated Date

Mid 20th Century






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