funeral rites

Funeral rites play a privileged, not to mention primordial role in man’s relationship with what is sacred. 

Through their rich ceremonies they underline the point to which death is present and accepted in non-western societies where the deceased, who will become ancestors, are an integral part of life.

This close relationship between the living and the dead very often passes through a vast exchange system that is symbolic, spiritual and physical all at once and manifests itself through offerings and is embodied in the moulded sculpture, a sign of durability and object of memory.


  • Ceremonial Sculpture

    Ceremonial Sculpture

  • Ancestral Skull

  • Headdress Mask

  • Reliquaire zoomorphe (poisson), crâne

    Zoomorphic (fish) Reliquary, Skull

  • Funeral Effigy

  • Funeral Mannequin

  • Mourner's Mask

  • Funeral Ceremony

  • Bronze Funeral Drum

  • Funeral Statue

  • Anthropomorphic Statues

  • Anthropomorphic Mask

  • Reliquary Guardian Statuette

  • Skull Representation

  • Anthropomorphic Funeral Post

  • Female Figure

  • Funeral Bag

  • Pedestal Bowl, With Zoomorphic Decoration

  • Bowl

  • Funeral Mask

  • Funeral Urn



Bowl With Zoomorphic Decoration, Deliberately Smashed, Mongollon Culture, United States,, New Mexico, 1100 - 1400 A.D. Terracotta, Exchange With the University of New Mexico Anthropology Department 71.1952.41.3

A very high number of these containers are known to have emanated out of the funerary context. These large bowls, whose insides are decorated with black motifs against a cream-colored background, were probably used to hold food. They were then "sacrificed" or "killed," that is to say, they were deliberately smashed before they were placed in the grave, along with the deceased person. The majority of the pieces show off non-figurative decorations, which often refer to meteorological phenomena.