The Fang preserved ancestral skulls and bones in hollow cylindrical containers with wooden figures, symbolically evoking the ancestor and guarding the relics.
This guardian figure is presenting an offertory cup, supported by both hands. The bottomless cylindrical container has skulls and shells around it.
In the belief that certain bones of great people
retained their supernatural powers after death, the Fang venerated
and preserved such remains. The relics were kept in containers
called reliquaries made of bark or woven plant fibers. The sculpted
guardians protected the relics from malicious humans and evil spirits
and served as a point of contact between the ancestral relics and
designated family members.
Height: 40" x Diameter: 14"