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African art - Kota:

The Kota are settled in eastern Gabon. Their reliquaries have greatly contributed to the discovery of their objects in tribal art. Like crucifixes in the Catholic religion, they are dedicated to the guarding of human bones.


Figure of reliquary Kota Mahongwe
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

The warhead head flanked by a short summit growth carries cabochons pierced by a pupil on either side of a ridge showing the nose. Thin strips of copper and brass alternate on the surface mated by the sand supposed to reactivate the magical power of the reliquary. Foot eroded.
The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of Fang . In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magical charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota , these figures have achieved a staggering degree of stylization and abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and arms ...

Figure of reliquary Kota Shamaye
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

This ritual sculpture, plated with brass-brass leaves 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 regions. On this copy, an ridge separates the eyes in cabochons in a warhead face, with a two-hulled headdress typical of the Shamaye of the Ivindo basin. The outgrowth is the former ibenda braided by dignitaries.
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. Sculptures playing the role of 'medium' between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were ...

Figure of Kota reliquary
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African art > African Reliquary > Figure Kota

This ritual sculpture, plated with brass-brass leaves 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 regions. 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. Sculptures playing the role of 'medium' between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were associated with the rites of the bwete, comparable to those of the Fang . They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti, symbolizing both the masculine and feminine aspects. This type of coin, called ngulu, served as a ...


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Kota ritual gong
African art > Usual african items > Gong City

A traditional accessory accompanying the various ritual ceremonies, this gong is topped by a figure of copper-plated wooden reliquary, whose design would be characteristic of the Obamba (subgroup kota according to some) or The Mindoumou (or Ondoumbo) of Haut-Ogooué in the north of the Gabon.La patina attests to the age of this piece.
The Bakota live in 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. Sculptures playing the role of 'medium' between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were associated with the rites of the bwete , comparable to those of the Fang. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing ...


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Figure of Kota reliquary
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

The baskets containing the relics of illustrious ancestors, usually surmounted by two reliquaries, were kept in temples in the village. One was the founder of the lineage, and the second his descendants. The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries were taken out and used. In order to reactivate the magical charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand. In the Kota , these figures have achieved a staggering degree of stylization and abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and arms surmounted by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male). ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Figure Kota

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (Northern Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made 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. In the Kota, these figures have reached a degree of stylization and amazing abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and to the "Bras" topped by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).


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Kota membrane drum
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African art > Usual african items > Tam Kota

Ex-Belgian African art collection.
The footing of this tam-tam Kota, which accompanied the ritual dances, is composed of two curved supports and two miniature reliquary figures, caryatids resting on a ring. These abstract effigies embodying the ancestors, named ngulu, surmounted the baskets bwed in which the relics of the ancients of high lineage were kept. The membrane of the drum, fixed by large wooden pegs around which raffia cords are stretched, returns largely to the sound box. Friezes of contrasting patterns animate the surface. The guardian effigies of reliquary were recorded in the baskets in which the bones and relics of the ancestors were inserted. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made during ceremonies during which the reliquaries ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

This ritual sculpture, plated with copper-brass leaves 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, varying according to the regions. The Kota live in 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 of the bwete , comparable to those of the Fang . They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti, symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > statue Kota

With large flat side shells, this singular concave face with an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper leaves. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric patterns, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture. The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of relics ...


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Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-Belgian collection
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to look after their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made 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. In the Kota, these ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mahongwe
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African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (North Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang . In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made 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. In the Kota , these figures have reached a degree of stylization and abstraction as toddning: reduced to the shoulders and to the "" topped with a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).
The warhead face topped with a small tubular outgrowth here offers two cabochon eyes with a pupil on either side of an edge instead of the nose. Thin strips of copper and brass alternate on the ...

Reliquary figure Kota
objet vendu
African art > African Reliquary > Figure Kota

The cult of ancestors, the bwete (Northern Kota) was at the heart of the social and religious life of the Kota and has many analogies with that of the Fang. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made 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. In the Kota, these figures have reached a degree of stylization and amazing abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and to the "Bras" topped by a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).


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Kota Sculpted Door
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African art > Door shutter > Kota Gate

This six-panel door evokes the memory of illustrious ancestors, by depicting motifs depicting the carved effigies named mbulu-ngulu, which were placed on the reliquary baskets containing the bones of prestigious forebears. These stylized figures, plated in brass-brass according to the kota tradition, form a stylized image of the ancestor, a coat of arms also for the clan, and are generally distinguished by the shape of the headdress, which varies by region. The figures on this piece of furniture are decorated in engraved geometric patterns, stars and diamonds. The surface is covered with white pigments and, very locally, indigo. The two central doors, with handles, are kept closed thanks to two locks on the back. The Kota live in the eastern part of Gabon, which is rich in iron ore, and ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu-Ngulu
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African art > African Statues > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric patterns, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, ...

Kota reliquary statue
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

In place of the metal-plated figure, which is a traditonal watch on the basket in which the relics of the deceased were stored, this polychrome wooden statue acts as both a reliquary and a reliquary keeper. Indeed, a door, on the back of the figure, closes a dorsal cavity made for this purpose. The head presents the specifics of the Mbulu-Ngulu figures of the Kota Ndasa of Gabon and Congo, a flat headdress and a protruding forehead, enhanced here by decorative metallic lozenges. The lower base evokes both legs and the prestige stool kwanga, on four feet, often used during initiations. Transport straps, attached to the arms and neck of the sculpture, are formed of thick strips of braided raffia.
"Medium" between the living and the dead, watching over their descendants, these ...


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Reliquary figure Kota Mbulu Ngulu
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African art > African Reliquary > Statue Kota

With large, flat side shells extended with two pendeloques, this singular concave face overhanging an ovoid forehead is plated with gold copper sheets. A fine cling makes the whole thing adhere to the wooden soul. The ensemble is highlighted with carefully engraved geometric and punctiform motifs, composing friezes embellishing the sculpture. The base is eroded. The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, the mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with ...

Reliquary figure Kota
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-collection French African art.
The Kota of the Sebe Valley, located in Gabon but also in Congo, produced this type of sculpture that played the role of "medium" between the living and the dead and continued to watch over their descendants. They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti , symbolizing the masculine and feminine aspect at the same time. This type of coin was used in the preservation of mortuary remains of high-lineage ancestors in baskets topped with very specific sculptures, which played the role of guardians of the relics named ngulu. In the exclusive presence of insiders, the clan's major decisions were made 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. In the ...


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Great reliquary figure Kota Obamba
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African art > African Reliquary > Kota Reliquary

Ex-French African art collection.
This stylized figure of ancestor comes from the Obamba of Upper Ogooué. Leaves and strips of copper and brass offer a contrast of golden and coppery colours on one side, the reverse having only an ornamentation a volume carved in diamond. The crest and side shells are decorated with geometric patterns engraved with the repulsed and set with tapestry nails. Copper wires form a braid on the base, the base of which is eroded. The eyes, in a concave face streaked and adorned with cabochons evoking a skull, are formed of crescents carved in bone, animated by brass pupils. Metallic growths, despite the smile engraved on the face, show tears. This type of effigy was intended to keep the mortuary relics of the ancestors of high lineage, fragments of bones ...





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