This statue is from Cameroon and was sculpted by the Fang Tribe's skilled artisans.
These sculptures are simply carved, yet they are quite complex. They were used to communicate with the Ancestors, who were consulted when a major event occurred within the tribe. If a community had to relocate due to a conflict, fresh crops needed to be planted, or even a major hunting trip. A ritual would take place, complete with prayers, dancing, and offerings to the Ancestors. These figurines, with their big heads, bulging stomachs and navels, and short limbs, represent new born infants in proportions. The Fang people divided society into three classes: the "not-yet-born," the living, and the deceased.
Small cracks, discoloration, and other imperfections are natural parts of the aging process and add to the character of each piece.