Currently on View in W304.c9.riser
Until about a century ago, the Fang maintained an ancestor association known as Bieri. In this association, skulls and bones of important members were kept in a wooden container with a head or figure on top. These images were both containers for these sacred bones and representatives of ancestor spirits.
Initiated men would consult these containers with images for aid and protection before important activities such as war, resettlement, marriage and travel. These figures were also used in initiation ceremonies and other ritual activities where access was forbidden to women and children.
(Mamadou Koita, New York) sold on May 12, 1977 to Harrison Eiteljorg [1903-1997] of Indianapolis; donated to the IMA 1989