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African art - African Reliquary:

In Africa, reliquaries are the guardians of buried ancestors. They can keep bones, or the skulls of dignitaries, chiefs, warriors, dead and kept in sacred concessions. The reliquaries are also receptacles often cylindrical wicker baskets intended for the preservation of relics, this being a widespread practice in Central Africa among Kota, Fang, Tsogho. Some reliquaries like the Ambete are statues with a receptacle placed in the back.


Bakota Reliquary Keeper
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-collection French African art.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect.
This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mahongwe
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African art > African Statues > Mahongwe Reliquary

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang . In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota , these figures have reached a degree of stylization and abstraction as toddning: reduced to the shoulders and to the "" topped with a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male). The concave warhead face topped by a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of a nasal ridge whose end ends in internal volute. Copper and brass threads ...

Relic statue Mbete, Ambete
African art > African Statues > Statue Ambete

Statues of ancestors in the African art of Mbede, Mbete, or AmbeteThe cult of ancestors, among the Mbete, is accompanied by carved figures frequently playing the role of reliquary. This statue has a dorsal cavity blocked by a shutter. A resin remains in the trunk. The flat side offers the characteristic details: narrow, semi-closed eyelids depicted by cauris, sheltered under slanted eyebrows, a triangular nose extending from the forehead, a narrow hollowed-out mouth. The hairstyle is arranged in braids gathered in shells. The arms on the chest are folded at a right angle. Semi-flexed muscular legs, carried by large feet, evoke a ritual dance. Grainy kaolin patina, chipped, and use of burgundy brown hues.
The Mbete form a people of Gabon, on the border of Middle Congo, neighbouring ...


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390.00

Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-collection French African art.
The cult of ancestors, the bwete (Northern Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these figures have reached a degree of stylization and amazing abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and to the "Bras" topped by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male). The warhead face topped by a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of an edge instead of the nose. Thin strips of ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu-Ngulu
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African art > African Statues > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric patterns, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, ...

Kota reliquary statue
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

In place of the metal-plated figure, which is a traditonal watch on the basket in which the relics of the deceased were stored, this polychrome wooden statue acts as both a reliquary and a reliquary keeper. Indeed, a door, on the back of the figure, closes a dorsal cavity made for this purpose. The head presents the specifics of the Mbulu-Ngulu figures of the Kota Ndasa of Gabon and Congo, a flat headdress and a protruding forehead, enhanced here by decorative metallic lozenges. The lower base evokes both legs and the prestige stool kwanga, on four feet, often used during initiations. Transport straps, attached to the arms and neck of the sculpture, are formed of thick strips of braided raffia.
"Medium" between the living and the dead, watching over their descendants, these ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu Ngulu
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African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric and punctiform motifs, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture. The base is eroded. The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with ...

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Reliquary figure Kota Mahongwe
African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang . In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota , these figures have reached a degree of stylization and abstraction as toddning: reduced to the shoulders and to the "" topped with a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).
The warhead face topped with a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of an edge instead of the nose. Thin strips of copper and brass alternate on the ...


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480.00

Reliquary figure Kota
African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time.
This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these figures have reached a ...


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230.00

Figure masculine Fang Byéri
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African art > African Statues > Statue Fang

The Ntoumou in the African art of Gabon
This copy of a statue fang still having its reliquary has specificities specific to the statuary of the African tribal art of North Gabon; it also has, housed in the reliquary in bark, bone fragments, presumably cranial, of the ancestor to whom this reliquary was doomed. The proportions and quality of the model of this Pahouine sculpture are noteworthy. The bones of the deceased fang were kept in boxes topped with a sculpture supposed to watch over the relics. Presenting various regional types, however, they are designed according to an invariable principle, a figure in the face "en heart, with frequent addition of copper or brass metal, hands joined with a cut or not, on a pedon. They are also distinguished by their hairstyles and general ...

Reliquary figure Kota
objet vendu
African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-collection French African art.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the ...


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Fang wooden box
African art > Usual african items > Fang Box



This container has a lid topped with three stylized faces reminiscent of the guardian heads of the byeri reliquary. Three fang figures with protective virtues, arms bent, hands clasped, adorn the walls of the box. Since the reliquary boxes contain the bones of the ancestors are most often made up of bark, this wooden sculpture could also have been used as a medicine container or a box dedicated to divination. The internal walls are lined with residues of yellow ochre vegetable oil.
Geometric patterns and parallel lines are engraved on the matte surface. Desication cracks. Indigenous restorations using metal staples.
The peoples known as Fang, or "Pahouins", described as conquering warriors, invaded in successive leaps, from villages to villages, the entire vast ...


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400.00

Reliquary figure Kota
African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-Belgian collection
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to look after their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota, these ...


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230.00

Box  Igbo reliquary
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African art > African Reliquary > Box Igbo reliquary

Anthropomorphous reliquary box,

it is adorned with carved elements in high relief. On the top, a head is wearing a European hat, accentuating the solemnity of the deity represented.His forehead also bears the deep scarifications of ethnicity, and his mouth aggressively reveals sharp teeth.His body is the formwork of the reliquary, which closes a consolidated door of a rope of natural fibers. Refinements of palm oil and pigments are still visible in the receptacle reliquary Beautiful two-tone crust patina Igbo live in the forest in southeastern Nigeria, combining a deep sense of individuality with an equally strong sense of belonging to the group and a complex political system. The village is the most important social unit, the smallest is the extended family, each village ...


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Great reliquary figure Kota Obamba
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-French African art collection.
This stylized figure of ancestor comes from the Obamba of Upper Ogooué. Leaves and strips of copper and brass offer a contrast of golden and coppery colours on one side, the reverse having only an ornamentation a volume carved in diamond. The crest and side shells are decorated with geometric patterns engraved with the repulsed and set with tapestry nails. Copper wires form a braid on the base, the base of which is eroded. The eyes, in a concave face streaked and adorned with cabochons evoking a skull, are formed of crescents carved in bone, animated by brass pupils. Metallic growths, despite the smile engraved on the face, show tears. This type of effigy was intended to keep the mortuary relics of the ancestors of high lineage, fragments of bones ...

Fang of Byeri Reliquary
African art > African Reliquary > Statue Fang

Pahoune sculpture in African art
Property of a Fang lineage, this high-walled bark receptacle, with two small coves, contained the relics of the ancestors, whose spirit is represented by the figures depicted sitting on the lid. One of the guardians solemnly presents an offering horn. Attributes such as the protruding ventral capsule, the crest cap, the multiple necklaces, and the frequent ornamentation of brass nails, distinguish the tribal statuary of the Fang.Wood samples were taken for ritual purposes. Brilliant mahogany brown skate. In the Fang of Cameroon and those of Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a ...


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480.00

Reliquary Fang Byéri
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African art > African Reliquary > Reliquary Fang Byéri

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.
Among the Fangs of Cameroon and those of Gabon, each family has a "Byeri", or reliquary box, in which the bones of the ancestors are preserved. These boxes were guarded by the oldest man in the village, the "esa". The reliquary boxes were topped with a statue or a head that acted as custodian of the "byi" boxes. These were kept in a dark corner of the box, and were intended to divert evil influences to someone else. They were also used during the initiation ceremonies of young people linked to the company "So". During the holidays, the statues were separated from their boxes and paraded.
This box is surmounted by a character similar to the keepers of reliquaries. With his legs bent, hands clasped, he rests on a ...


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Songye reliquary basket
African art > African Reliquary > Songye reliquary basket

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.

In the centre of the room, there is a songye statuette with a face reminiscent of Kifwebe masks. This facies is also similar to that very geometric of some Nkisi protective fetishes.
The statuette is attached to a small terracotta clask itself placed among a multitude of offerings and libations accompanying a tangle of materials and strings.

The Songyes have created impressive statues with powerful features are often used during secret ceremonies, covered with accessories such as feathers, skin and a horn full of magic charge.
Very present in their society, divination allowed to discover the sorcerers and to shed light on the causes of the misfortunes that struck individuals.


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350.00

Gelede Altar
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African art > African Reliquary > Gelede Altar

African art among Gelede.

Carved according to the principle Gelede mask crest, but in miniature, this object has a head with globular eyes and Yoruba customary scarification, supporting a circular base on which stands a small awning where officiate two followers. One is kneeling and presents an offering, the second, positioned in an opposite direction, stands. A frieze of red and green lozenges decorate the base of the altar, these same colors being taken from the face and the roof. A crusty and velvety patina is used. Concerning the ceremonies of the Gelede, Efe, practiced mainly in the western Yoruba kingdoms, the masks are built on the same principle: a face (mask-helmet type) and a scene that develops on the top of the mask. These are used in the context of masquerades ...


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Ambete reliquary statue
African art > African Reliquary > Ambete reliquary statue

Former Belgian private collection of African art Jan Putteneers.

The Mbete are renowned for their statues with a back hollow intended to receive magical substances or relics of ancestors.
The forehead is massive and the eyebrow arches that underlie it overlook the lower part of the face. The eyes are small and circular. The mouth is gaping and adorned with nails.
The character has his shoulders thrown back and his arms bent, hands resting on his abdomen.

A finely crafted metal coating covers the entire room and is held with nails. The eyes are composed of cauris.
Some reliquaries sometimes have a small door to close the dorsal cavity, but this is not the case here.


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1200.00

Basket reliquary Losso
African art > African Reliquary > Basket reliquary Losso

African art, we find in many ethnic groups this tendency to create reliquary baskets, so it is not uncommon to find versions sometimes flared as in the Luba and Songye, or more vertical versions like this one. In the basket entangled elements of various materials. Here, an anthropomorphic statuette with a simplistic face and rough patina shares the space with a piece of skull with small horns and other pieces of wood and cordage. The Losso practiced the worship of the ancestors, it was a good omen to honor them in order to attract their benevolence. Losso coins are extremely rare.


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340.00





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