Male Reliquary Figure

eyema-o- byeri
Exhibits: Ancestor Cult
Tribes: Fang peoples, Mabea group
Location: Southern Cameroon
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Beads, Brass Nails, Red Wood

This figure is a fine reconstruction of a statue that was probably one of the earliest known examples of the Mabea style. The original statue was collected at Bata on the coast of Rio Muni, present day Mbini, Equatorial Guinea (L.Perrois).This Mabea figure, although highly characteristic of its style, displays some stylistic features of the Ngumba. It is hardly surprising, considering the kinship between these groups . The characteristic features of Mabea style are as follows: the proportions of the arms, torso and legs are relatively naturalistic, the patina is pale and reddish with smooth, polished surfaces, the stomach has a bulging peg- like navel, the coiffure is dyed black and streamlined, ending in a point on the central part and it is flanked by big projecting ears. The expressive face is especially naturalistic. The Ngumba influence is apparent in the posture, holding the vertical "medicine horn" in both hands in front of the chest, instead of long arms placed on the thighs. 


L. Perrois, Fang, 2006, pp 35-6, pl.13

Male Reliquary Figure
Male Reliquary Figure
Male Reliquary Figure
Male Reliquary Figure