African art > Reliquaries, statues > Kota Reliquary

Kota Reliquary (N° 24132) Deposit sale

Belgian African art collection
The baskets containing the relics of illustrious ancestors, generally surmounted by two reliquaries, were kept in the temples of the village. One of them embodied the founder of the lineage, and the second his descendants. Ancestor worship, the Bwete (Northern Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and presents many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of initiates, the major decisions of the clan were taken 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. Among the Kota, these figures have reached an astonishing degree of stylization and abstraction: reduced to shoulders and "arms" surmounted by a large face, the latter can be concave (feminine) or convex (masculine). The copper plates alternate on the surface matted by the sand which was supposed to reactivate the magic power of the reliquary.  

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OriginCollection belge
EthnyKota
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood, bronze
Height cm67
Width26 cm
Weight1.95 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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