African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Metoko Figure

Metoko Figure (N° 22167)

It was during initiation rites that this figure appeared accompanied by its feminine complement Itea. They also welcomed the souls of the recently deceased before their departure for the afterlife, then were then abandoned in the forest. Pastille patterns and perforations punctuate the matte surface, while the face encrusted with cowries and teeth is divided into two colours. Abrasions and cracks.
The Metoko and the Lengola, whose ritual sculptures are very similar, are peoples of the primary forest dedicated to the worship of a single God, a rare monotheism in Africa. Their society comprising three ranks, the Bukota, structured daily life and welcomed both men and women. It represents the equivalent of the Bwami association of the Lega. The sculptures played a role during initiation ceremonies, and were then placed on the tomb of high-ranking initiates. Kakungu in particular was surrounded by other sculpted objects, including Ntanda and Itea couple figures, related to initiation rites and circumcision . Most of these figures had a name, like the lega traditions.  

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OriginCollection suisse
EthnyMetoko
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, cauris, dents
Height cm49
Width13 cm
Weight1.00 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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