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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.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Culture

Kota

Title

Figure (Mbulu Ngulu)

Origin

Gabon

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, brass, and ivory

Dimensions

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

Credit Line

Restricted gift of 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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