Gabonese Three-Headed Fang Figure

c. 1900
$980 USD
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W: 6.0" D: 5.5" H: 20.5"
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The itinerant nature of the Fang people of present-day southern Cameroon and northern Gabon brought about the practice of keeping ancestral remains with the family as they move from village to village. The sacred remains were secured in bark boxes known as "bieri" and guarded by a specially carved figure. Designed with three heads that speak to the prestige of the ancestor it protects, this figure is a marvel of artistic balance. Tensed muscles enliven the figure’s static stance, while its impassive countenance becomes animated when seen in the round. Holding these opposites in balance, this hand-carved figure exemplifies the Fang ideals of tranquility and vitality.

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