MaHongwe Reliquary Guardian Figure

c. 1900
$1,280 USD
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Dimensions
W: 9.0" D: 3.5" H: 25.0"
Materials
Copper
Steel
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
CAA1278
Estimated Shipping
$75

This compelling abstract form is attributed to the MaHongwe people in north Gabon, a subpopulation of the Kota in the same region. Sculpted of a wooden form wrapped in metal wire, the work is a reliquary figure of "bwete" ancestor practices. The figure would have been placed above a basket containing ancestral relics, and represented the founder of the familial lineage. The highly abstracted ancestor figure is nonetheless sculpted with fantastic detail. Radiating from a central pair of eyes and nose, an intricate pattern of hammered wire and nails decorates the figure's head, flowing into stylized plaits on the back. An unusually conceptual work of tribal art, this MaHongwe reliquary figure lives on as a fantastic sculptural object set on a custom stand.

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