MaHongwe-Style Reliquary Figure

20th Century
$3,280 USD
Make an Offer
W: 5.5" D: 7.0" H: 21.0"
Mixed Materials
Purchase Quantity
Collection #
Estimated Shipping

This compelling abstract form is attributed to the MaHongwe people in north Gabon, a subpopulation of the Kota in the same region. Sculpted of a wooden form wrapped in metal wire, this work recreates the reliquary figures of "bwete" ancestor practices. Such figures would have been placed above a basket containing ancestral relics, and represented the founder of the familial lineage.

The highly abstracted ancestor figures are nonetheless sculpted with fantastic detail. Radiating from a central pair of eyes and nose, hammered wire densely wraps around the figure's head, continuing down to the body and up towards a tuft of hair. The wooden base is enclosed with a layer of thin copper sheet metal, decorated on front and back with a round face with two piercing eyes.

Coiled wire has unraveled around the neck. Moderate wear and verdigris oxidation.

Questions? Ask us

What They're Saying

Portrait krueger
Elizabeth Krueger | Elizabeth Krueger Design

“PAGODA RED was extremely supportive in helping to pull accessory options together for the Lake Forest Showhouse. After providing them with details and our vision on how we were looking to finish our space, Laurene helped curate options that made it easy for us to edit and finalize. It's also no surprise that the unique pieces we used in our showhouse space were some of the first to sell.”

Receive our weekly email on design &
creating memorable spaces