Kota Reliquary figure

Mbulu Ngulu
Type: figure
Exhibits: Cycle of Life
Tribes: Kota peoples, Mindumu group
Location: Gabon
Period: 20th Century
Materials: Brass Sheets, Wood

The Kota people worshipped the ancestor cult. The families honored their revered ancestors by preserving their relics in a woven basket tied atop a reliquary guardian figure. This ensemble Bwete (Bwiti) was preserved in a small chamber at the back of the clan chief's house. On special occasion such as festivals or time of misfortunes the ancestor reliquaries were invoked. They were expected to strengthen the community magically and ensure their benevolent protection, the success and well-being of the clan's members. This reliquary figure with its concave face has a highly abstracted visage, lacking a mouth and with minimal decoration, conveying a calm expression. The pyramidal brass upper crescent spans the crown of the head with lateral wings ends in a typical outward flourish of Ndassa style.                        

Kota Reliquary figure
Kota Reliquary figure