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

Pedestal Bowl, With Zoomorphic Decoration

Pedestal Bowl, With Zoomorphic Decoration

Bowl Decorated With Serpentine Monster, Panama, Central Region, Tonosi, The Indian, 250-500, Terracotta, French Panamanian Project 71.1970.28.60

Bowls, such as this one, and jars are part of the funeral accoutrements. Two sets, each made up of a bowl and jar, were place next to the deceased whose body was placed, sitting or crouched, on top of a bed of ashes. While the two jars thus placed are usually identical, the bowls are decorated with motifs of reverse colors. The bowls contained food offerings (fish, crab), and perhaps the jars, in a corresponding manner, were meant to hold liquid nutrition. Besides ceramics, the funeral accoutrements include objects made from precious stones, shells, bone, metal, canine teeth and stingray barbs, all of which were often worn as part of a necklace or pendant.