Reliquary Guardian Figure

eyema-o- byeri
Exhibits: Ancestor Cult
Tribes: Fang peoples, Ntumu group
Location: Bitam, Gabon
Period: Mid 20th Century
Materials: Brass Nails, Brass Tacks, Mirror Glass, Wood

This male figure of eyem byeri might be considered highly typical of the Ntumu style, a sub-style of the Fang sculpture. According to L. Perrois' classification, it is an exceptional figure, for it is the ‘longiforme’ among the group of his examined collection. The trunk and the neck represent almost 6/10 of the total height.. The tiny legs sculpted in harmonious curves are stabilized with a back support stick. The shoulders, cut straight in typical Ntumu style, are decorated with brass nails. The oval-shaped head, with pointed forehead and chin, is very beautiful. The eyes are metallic plates, surrounding small mirrors. The nose is long with a flat base and the mouth is small, with lips in relief revealing teeth. A hole on the top of the head might serve for inserting tufts of feathers (asen). The statue has a dark patina.


L .Perrois, La Statuary Fan, Gabon, 1972, p.73

 Reliquary Guardian Figure
 Reliquary Guardian Figure
 Reliquary Guardian Figure
 Reliquary Guardian Figure