Fang seated Female Reliquary Figure

eyema-o- byeri
Type: figure
Exhibits: Cycle of Life
Tribes: Fang peoples, Okak group
Location: Equatorial Guinea / Gabon
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Black Patina, Iron Rings, Mirror Glass, Wood
Not For Sale
H: 
59.40cm
SKU: 
3072

This is a powerful female reliquary figure, she has large pendant oval breasts as a symbol of fecundity. Though the ancestor cult was predominantly a male activity, the reliquary figures, such as this one, were often female. According to Fernandez, “despite its exaltation of maleness, patrilineage is dependent upon women for procreation. As recognition of  their service to the lineage, the craniums of women (called nyiabiang," mothers of medicine “) who made outstanding contributions to the lineage through producing many living children, by hard work, and by force of personality, could be included in the sacred receptacle” (Fernandez 1982:258).

 

Fang seated Female Reliquary Figure
Fang seated Female Reliquary Figure
Fang seated Female Reliquary Figure
Fang seated Female Reliquary Figure