Traditional Primitive Tribal Art Bakota Reliquary Figure from Gabon, Africa

Price: $1, 650.00
Product ID : DEC00136

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Overview

Measures: 9 1/2" wide x 4 3/4" deep x 21" high.
Traditional Bakota reliquary Guardian figure from the Kota People (Mahongwe Tribe), Gabon Africa probably dates from the early 20th century or is possibly older. It is difficult to ascribe a specific date to these reliquary masks. However, authenticity is more important than age, and the fact that objects show tribal use and purpose and were not made to sell. The Mahongwe constitute the northern branch of the Kota peoples. They live in the extreme northeast of Gabon near the Republic of the Congo border. Numbering between 3,000 and 5,000 individuals, they have long remained apart owing to their obstinate resistance to the penetration of French administration. Reliquary guardian figure, Koto People (Mahongwe). The Mahongwe practice an ancestor cult (bwiti or bwete) that was at the center of a system of beliefs and rites and ancestor worship formed the core of the family group’s religious and social life. Fearful of the deceased the Mahongwe showed particular devotion to relics of important ancestors of the lineage, guarantors for the protection and survival of the group. At the death of a chief, the initiates would take from the body of the deceased various relics, which then decorated with metal and rubbed with powders of multiple magical powers. These relics, augmented by some “charms” and other power substances, were kept in woven rattan baskets upon which were arranged reliquary figures in wood plated with thin copper or brass strips, plates of wire. Bokata figure is part of a formidable collection of African Art by an international collector now residing in Miami.

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