African art > Reliquaries, statues > Obamba statue

Obamba statue (N° 22590)

Obamba sculptural expression in African art.

Kota type ancestor effigy called mbulu-ngulu, similar to the Obamba type. The concave face, from which the cabochon eyes pierce, is haloed by a headdress with side fins. The whole is plated with metal sheets engraved in repoussé. The eroded base which would represent the arms is only partly covered with metal.

This type of figure surmounted the baskets in which the mortuary relics of high-lineage ancestors were stored, playing the role of guardians called ngulu. 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 by the banganga. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand  

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OriginEx. collection belge Mercier
Material(s)bronze, wood
Height cm56
Width22 cm
Weight1.90 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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