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Tribal art > African Statues > Shamaye Reliquary

Shamaye Reliquary (N° 24166)

This ritual sculpture, plated with copper-brass sheets according to the kota tradition, forms a stylized image of the ancestor, also a coat of arms for the clan. Its structure comes from the works produced by the Shamaye of the Ivindo basin. The outgrowth depicts the old braided ibenda of the 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. The sculptures playing the role of "medium" between the living and the dead who watched over the descendants, were associated with the rites at bwete , comparable to those of the Fang . This type of room, called ngulu, acted as "guardian" of the relics above the baskets containing the mortuary remains of the ancestors of high lineage. 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. In order to reactivate the magic charge, the initiates rubbed the relic with sand.  


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

OriginEx-collection française
Material(s)wood, metal
Height cm51
Depth11 cm
Width24 cm
Weight1.90 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle includedYes

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