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    Artist Name:

    Kota Artist, Gabon


    Reliquary Guardian Figure


    ca. 1875-1925


    Wood, brass, and bone


    11.75 inches

    Credit Line:

    Fred and Rita Richman Collection

    Accession Number:


    On View - Wieland Pavilion, Lower Level, Gallery 102, African Collection
    With intense, vigilant eyes and a brilliant metallic surface, this sculpture has a startling presence. Its flashing brightness honors ancestors with a display of wealth in the form of brass. Like the pair of Fang figures in the High’s Richman Collection, this object was created to protect the relics of important ancestral leaders; it once stood over a bundle of sacred remains, including skulls, bones, and ritually charged medicines, enclosed in a basket. Grouped together, figures like this one guarded all of the relics of a village. Stored in a small house accessible to only a few responsible individuals, reliquary bundles were used to teach youths about the achievements of their ancestors.

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    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.