Ambete , Objet art of the ethnic Ambete - African-art.net
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Ambete

The Ambete (Mbete) use statues, busts, heads and masks.

The Ambete (Mbete) face is in the form of a diamond. A large forehead hangs over a flat hollowed out face that lies back from  rectilinear eyebrow arches. The nose is small and delicate. The eyes are often represented through the use of cowrie shells. The mouth is open and the teeth apparent.  The headdress is helmet shaped, decorated with grooves and is crowned by a very high central crest.

Ambete (Mbete) statues have short legs, a very long cylindrical torso with arms stuck down by the sides and sticking out slightly towards the front. These statues also have a flattened face, a pointed chin, an open mouth that reveals the teeth and a grooved coiffure.

These statues are reliquaries, linked to the cult of the ancestors, and are placed in a basket next to bone remains.

Some Ambete (Mbete) statues have backs that are hollowed out to create a cavity which can be  closed with a little rectangular door. These reliquary statues served to hold ancestral bone remains or substances used for magical purposes.

The Ambete (Mbete) live in an area that forms the border between Gabon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They have no centralized political system.

They worship the ancestors but do not use reliquary boxes.

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