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

Anthropomorphic Statues

Anthropomorphic Statues

Male Statue, Nigeria Jukun, End of the 19th Century, Beginning of the 20th Century, Wood, Metal, Sacrificial Thick Patina, 92,5 x 28 x 29,5 cm, 15490 g, Former Barbier-Mueller Collection, 73.1997.4.39

This male figure is an incarnation of an ancestral spirit, probably a chieftain. During certain ceremonies, it was taken out of its sanctuary and the blood of sacrificed animals (and sometimes beer) was directly poured onto the object. These libations were meant to make conditions favorable for rain, which would result in abundant harvests. This practice explains the presence of the thick, crusty coating that covers the statuette.