MAHONGWE RELIQUARY GUARDIANS, Gabon

 Mahongwe
21
22" high
$500

 Mahongwe
23
21.5" high
$500

 

Mahongwe
24
16" high
$400


 Mahongwe
26
21.5" high
$600

 

  Mahongwe
28
19.5" high
$500

  Mahongwe
29
19.25" high
$500


 Mahongwe
31
17.25" high
$500

 

Mahongwe
32
19" high
$400

 

  Mahongwe
34
20" high
$500

 Mahongwe
35
19.75" high
$400


 Mahongwe
36
20.5" high
$500

  Mahongwe
37
20.75" high
$600

  Mahongwe
38
19.75" high
$600

 

Mahongwe
39
20.5" high
$500

Photographs © Tim Hamill

MAHONGWE RELIQUARY FIGURES, Gabon

Figurrs like these were mounted on containers holding relics of important clan ancestors, serving as guardians. The Mahongwe are a subgroup of the Bakota, who, like the nearby Fang, also make reliquary guardians. Sheathed in metal (brass or copper strips and wire), the figures are highly abstracted. They are dedicated to Bwitti, the spirit of the ancestors.

In spite of their very nice patina, we have no reason to believe that these pieces have seen tribal use.

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