Initially, the Kota used to leave the dead person exposed to the elements in the forest.
Under the influence of the neighbouring tribes, they began to bury their chiefs, then to exhume their bones (especially the skull), to store these in boxes made of tree bark, or in baskets, named Bwete, on which were placed statuettes.
The latter were mainly appreciated for the stylised figurines in wood, covered with copper and/or brass strips, topping these.
“Such reliquaries were entrusted to clan chiefs who hid those and who sometimes used the power of the relics for the benefit of the clan. When serious crisis hit the village (a village gathering several clans), the chiefs would gather their reliquaries to perform rites.
This cult was known under the name of bwiti for the Mahongwe and for their neighbours, for whom the guardians formed the “faces of the bwété”.
Each figure had its name, its specific powers. " Sources from the Museum of the Quai Branly.
Elegant Reliquary from the 1950s with a face curved inwards.
In its original condition.
- Bwiti reliekschrijn
- Etnische groep / cultuur
- Kota / Mahongwe
- Regio / land
- Hout, Koper, Messing
- Midden 20e eeuw
- Verkocht met standaard
- 51×18×9 cm
- 1,22 kg