A fine MAHONGWE Reliquary figure made in wood and covered with brass and red copper plates. This figures represents the connection between the world of the living and the dead in African art. Human remains of ancestors of high descent were kept in baskets that were guarded by this type of figures. In this case the head is made out of brass and red copper plates and. Very nice and detailed work.Good condition, but this statue shows some usual wear and tear, small chip on the bottem, see pictures.
The Bakota (or Kota) are a Bantu ethnic group from the northeastern region of Gabon. The language they speak is called iKota, but is sometimes referred to as Bakota, ikuta, Kota, and among the Fang, they are known as Mekora. The language has several dialects, which include: Ndambomo, Mahongwe, Ikota-la-hua, Sake, Menzambi, Bougom. Some of these dialects themselves include regional variations of some kind.
The Kota are traditionally a patriarchal society, however some of the sub-groups such as the Mahongwe have over time adopted a matrilineal system of lineage (Mahongwe means, “from your father”).
The true meaning of Bakota is unclear, however it may be derived from the word kota, which means to bind/to attach/to link, hereby suggesting they view themselves as a united people bound by a common fate.