This beautiful Bakota African Reliquary Mask is crafted of Hammered Copper and Brass and comes from the country of Gabon. This Mask is called a Reliquary Guardian and these figures were mounted on containers holding relics of important clan ancestors, serving as their guardians. Two-dimensional and sheathed in Brass an Copper, these figures include projecting shapes around the face that refer to elaborate coiffures, and a diamond shape below the neck that is an abstracted body form. The Kota have produced large quantity of statues of ancestors with the diamond-shaped lower part called mbulu-ngulu; these rather two-dimensional sculptures are in wood; symbolic metals were applied to the upper part in strips or sheets to add power. Copper in particular was identified with longevity and power. The reliquaries were kept outside the homes, in huts at the edge of the village. Only the initiates of the lineage had access to this sacred place. At the time of initiation in the reliquary cult, the clans would meet to perform communal rituals; each clan’s chief would dance holding the reliquary. This guardian mask would be a wonderful addition to your collection.
Show age, has a nice patina, and Natural Wear.
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