Kota Spiritual Ancestral Statue. Kota Reliquary. Bwete. Gabon. Africa.
The Kota use reliquary guardian figures (mbulu ngulu) to guard family ancestors. Ancestor bones were preserved in containers made of bark or basketry . . . . and the mbulu ngulu stood atop this bundle, bound to it at the figure’s lozenge-shaped base. It is thought that the figurative form of the mbulu ngulu was intended to reinforce and communicate the reliquary’s intense power. Kota mbulu ngulu are unique among African sculptural forms in their combination of wood and hammered metal.
This reliquary – from Gabon – is in extraordinary condition. Most reliquaries are kept outside family homes, in huts at the edge of the village.
Bwetes have been kept for generations as protectors . . . even after religious beliefs mellowed. This one – judging by its condition – was kept away from the environmental conditions.
Museum condition. A rare find. Good condition.
SOLD! Thanks C.R. !!