Pair of ancestral effigies
19th century or earlier
male 140.0 (h) x 13.0 (w) x 13.0 (d) cm
Musée Barbier Mueller, Geneva
© Musée Barbier-Mueller Photograph: Studio Ferrazzini Bouchet
The founding ancestors of the Nagé people are depicted as paired male and female sculptures known as ana deo [children of the gods]. Seated atop poles adorned with incised patterning, the elegant figures are naked with pronounced genitalia. As in many cultures, the founding ancestors, the original mother and father, are seen as the source of community fertility and as guardians of the lineage of their most powerful descendants. Ana deo are positioned at either side of the entrance to village temples.