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This Carved figures that reflect African religious views on the cycle of life and death, and specifically the link between the living and the dead, form the heart of the Gussman collection. The spiritual connection between the living and the dead takes physical form through reliquaries (containers for the preserved pieces of skull and bones) that represent important ancestors, such as the founders of extended families and villages, or women who have borne many children.

Culture and Traditions

The Fang peoples of Gabon believed that ancestral relics held great spiritual power. Byeri was a Fang association devoted to the veneration of lineage ancestors and founders, leaders, and fertile women who made significant contributions to society during their lifetime. Fang reliquary guardian figures are among the ritual objects used by the Bieri, an association devoted to honoring ancestors in order to obtain their goodwill.

Donation Details

Dr. & Mrs. Scotty L. Greenwald donated in the year 2002.


The Appraised Amount is $ 8,500.00

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

J. B . Coleman Library


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