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Figure (Mbulu Ngulu)

A work made of wood, brass, and ivory.

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  • A work made of wood, brass, and ivory.

Date:

Late 19th-early 20th century

Artist:

Kota: Shamaye
Gabon
Central Africa

About this artwork

Such flat, abstracted figures made of wood and brass were originally attached to baskets or bark boxes and served as guardians of the enclosed ancestral relics—typically the skulls and other bones of important men within the clan. Around 1930, the creation of these reliquary guardian figures ceased in response to the spread of Christianity throughout the region. Many sculptures were destroyed in the accompanying social upheaval.

Status

On View, Gallery 137

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Kota

Title

Figure (Mbulu Ngulu)

Place

Gabon (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, brass, and ivory

Dimensions

H.: 34.3 cm (13 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

The Art Institute of Chicago, Purchased with funds provided by the Alsdorf Foundation

Reference Number

1968.788

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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