Lot: 292

94th Tribal Art Auction

Rare reliquary figure "éyéma-o-byéri"

Cameroon, Fang (Bane)

Provenance Size Hammer price
Adrian Schlag, Brussels, Belgium H: 17.7 inch sold

wood, colour pigment, A work by the same artist was in the Josef Müller Collection, Solothurn, and was auctioned at Christie's, London on June 13, 1978, as lot 133. The worship of the relics of the family's illustrious dead is widespread in the whole of Fang country. Present figure served as guardian figure and was fixed on receptacles containing the reliquaries of venerated ancestors. They should remind of the faded person and should prevent people who were not allowed, to have a look into such boxes. They presented a kind of protecting house spirit as well, they should keep away evil and bad spirits. At the moment of ritual, for example propitation or initiation, the skulls, bones and wooden statues were smeared with several different unguents with precise and secret symbolical functions.