Fang Figure

                            full figure


upper side
                            upper view


                                  down view


                          side view


This stylized Janus-faced figure is covered with brass/copper alloy sheeting that adds to the beauty of this reliquary figure from the Kota or Mahongwe people from Gabon.

This example of reliquary sculpture is similar to those of the southern Kota-Obamba and mahongwe. The people worship Ancestors in their religion and social life. The Obamba reliquary sculpture is known as "mbulu ngulu" ("spirits of the dead" or basket figure ), while the mahongwe is known as “osseyba”.

These figures were placed on baskets containing the relics of ancestors, to venerate the deceased and recognized members of the lineage. They were used in an ancestor cult known as 'bwete' where the baskets were placed in temples in a village and would generally consist of 'janus' faced figures (that is having faces on both sides of the figure) and would represent the two ancestors on one figure. (the founder of the lineage and the descendent of the lineage.)

At the death of a chief, parts of his body would be decorated with metal and rubbed with magical powder and at the time of the initiation into the secret society, each clan's chief would dance, holding the reliquary. The reliquaries were kept outside homes, and only the initiates of this lineage had access to this sacred place.

Approximate dimensions: 63cm (H) x 30cm (W) x 8cm (D)

Weight:  1kg

Price: please send us an inquiry and we will answer as soon as possible


If you are in Uganda, you can view the products in our shops:

Entebbe: c/o Anna's Corner
Queen's Road, Plot 12,
Open every day.

Kampala: c/o Hidden Treasures
Buganda Road 18
Open every day.

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