Decorative Ambete Style Statue 27.5″ – DRC – African Art


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This statue was carved in the style of the Ambete people of DRC. The statue was carved similar to Ambete reliquary figures with a hole carved out in the back for ritual sacred material. The figure features a loin cloth made of fabric and vegetable fiber. The statue measures 27.5 inches tall and weighs 7 pounds. The figure is missing part of his right foot and he is slightly wobbly. There is some cracking, scuffing and wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos carefully.

Type of Object

Figure, statue

Country of Origin

DR Congo




Wood, pigment, fabric and vegetable fiber

Approximate Age









7 lbs

Overall Condition

Wobbly, missing part of foot, cracking and wear and tear

Tribe Information

About the Ambete People

“The Ambete live on the frontier with Gabon and the Republic of Congo, and are related to the Kota population. They carved three types of sculpture: heads, busts and full figures with a hollowed back. The latter have short legs, an elongated columnar torso and a flattened face with a triangular chin, an open mouth showing teeth and a triangular nose, all resting under a ridged coiffure. They are thought to have a connection with the ancestor’s cult – they were either used as reliquaries or placed alongside ancestor bones in a basket.
Heads and busts were probably positioned on poles and placed in front of the chief’s house. They may have had an apotropaic or emblematic purpose.”

Baquart, Jean-Baptiste. The Tribal Arts of Africa. New York: Thames and Hudson Inc. 1998. Print.


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