In African art, the Metoko, Baleka-Mituku, are part of the Mbole group and are established on the left bank of the Zaire River in the DRC
Like the Léga, a satellite ethnic group, they are endowed with a system of patrilineal filiation and a hierarchical society, the bukota equivalent to that of the bwami of the lega.
This type of statue was representative of the rank and status of the person who owned it. After the initiation rites they could be placed on the tombs of initiates who had reached the highest ranks.
They would then have served as a temporary receptacle for the soul of the deceased so that he could see for himself the quality of the funeral that was given to him. The ceremonies completed, the deceased left his wooden representation and the statue, which had become useless, was thrown away. Other collectors, however, have noted the use of kakongo metoko in non-funerary contexts. According to Daniel Biebuyck, the character represented could be kakungu, which is also found among the Lega, and which designates someone who has been the victim of witchcraft. (Treasures of Africa, museum of Tervuren). (Initiates, Dapper Museum)
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Light patina, desiccation cracks.
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