Large Ambete Reliquary Figure from Gabon | Relikwie mand


Ambete or Mbete reliquary figure and basket from the Congo/Gabon border. These Bwetes were the focus of offerings and prayers aimed at bringing good fortune to the clan. They would be brought outdoors for initiation ceremonies and for funerals of important elders. Sometimes the figure in the basket would have a hollowed out space in the back – sometimes even with a little door – as the repository for charms and other magical objects.

This is a superb example: it is a female figure who sits in the basket so that we see only her upper body. The face is the typical Ambete diamond shape with stylised features and almost entirely covered in kaolin. Her hair hangs down in two long fibre braids and she sits in a four-square position with her hands resting on the edge of the basket. The body is woven into the basket with the use of fibre which has been further strengthened with clay. There is decorative fibre binding at the shoulders and also at the wrists.

Size: 46 x 36 cm.

ROOTZ gallery product code: AFT


Authentic Tribal art object from Africa.