From the early to the middle of the 20th century - Reasonable condition - Authenticated ritual figurine
Rare and large figurine of a young Bwiti initiate, appraised and certified by two professional French appraisers:
- 1/ “Figurine of a Bwiti initiate, Vuvi, Gabon.
Light wood, remains of pigments, a minor damage.
Height: 34 cm (2012)”:
Note, public sale, appraiser C. Njiensi.
- 2/ “Figurine of the rank of a Bwete initiate Fang, Gabon, depicting an initiate with the arms and the hands in the position of an initiate to a rite (2008)” :
Note, Drouot public sale, appraiser Serge Reynes,
The Fang and the Vuvi share similar rites and both appraisers unconditionally certify the authenticity of this rare figure of Gabon.
Kapok tree wood was used here, ritually, the pith (the “primary xylem”), is the vertical axis of the sculpture, from the scrotum to the summit of the skull.
There is no sexual attribute: the French appraiser suggested a “model” of a ritual position for young initiates.
Pierre SAVORGAN DE BRAZZA, who was initiated to the Bwiti, and later to the Freemasonry in 1888, was the first to note its similarities with the African rite (Communication privée, Francine Ndiaye).
Probably from the first third of the 20th century ; neither retouched, neither restored (have a look at the first appraisal: “remains of pigments”).
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