African art > Reliquaries, statues > Kota reliquary

Kota reliquary (N° 22093)

This ritual sculpture, plated with copper sheets according to the kota tradition, forms a stylized image of the ancestor, a coat of arms also for the clan, and is generally distinguished by the shape of the headdress, which varies according to the region. This version has a concave face, and a rounded end extended with pendants. The almond eyes are made of bone, pierced with a nail.
The Kota inhabit the eastern part of Gabon, which is rich in iron ore, and some in the Republic of Congo. The blacksmith, in addition to wood carving, made tools for agricultural work as well as ritual weapons.
The sculptures playing the role of "medium" between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were associated with the rites at the bwete , comparable to those of the Fang . This type of room, called ngulu, acted as "guardian" of the relics above the baskets containing the mortuary remains of the ancestors of high lineage. 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.  

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Sold for 140.00
 


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OriginCollection française.
EthnyKota
Countrygabon
Material(s)wood, metal, os
Height cm52
Width26 cm
Weight2.10 Kg
Socle includedYes

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