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Tribal art > African Reliquary > Figure Kota

Figure Kota (N° 16819) Deposit sale

This sculpture depicts a concave face, capped with large extended side panels of two pendeloques. It is plated with copper and brass leaves that a discreet nailing makes adhere to the wooden soul. The set is animated by geometric patterns. The eyes surrounded by a resinous amalgam are made up of bone or horn washers. 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 of the bwete , comparable to those of the Fang . They are sometimes bifaces, mbulu-viti, symbolizing both the masculine and feminine aspects. The reverse here bears the engraving of a strongly stylized losangic face.
This type of coins, called ngulu, served as the relics over the baskets containing the mortuary remains of high-line ancestors. 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 reached a staggering degree of stylization and abstraction: reduced to the shoulders and "bras" topped with a large face, the latter can be concave (female) or convex (male).  

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OriginCollection Belge
Material(s)wood, metal, os
Height cm61
Width32 cm
Weight3.15 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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