African tribal art Fang Byeri figure from Gabon.
Carefully sculpted, this reliquary guardian of the Byeri, has the characteristics of the Ntoumou of Northern Gabon but there are many variants.
The figure is adorned with a torque and wrist and ankle bracelets. A clasp is inserted on the forehead and the metal is endowed with apotropaic virtues, as for many African Tribes. The head is topped with the traditional pointed helmet, the two small eyes, represented by brass pupils, set under the broad rounded forehead and open, pouting mouth.
Beneath the umbilicus cabochon are two bent arms holding a stick, the bent lower limbs show a slight lack in the inner part of the foot. The statue has a beautifully oiled brown patina. Fragments of the Byeri sculpture, considered magical, are frequently used for therapeutic purposes.This Fang Byeri figure has been approved as being authentic with significant signs of tribal use and age.
The Fang people have 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 lineage scrupulously stored their Byeri, the relic chests and tribal sculptures that “watched over them.”
We find the Fang people in central Africa, south of Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, few in the Republic of Congo.