Ancestor figure whose removable head reveals a shallow container. The three-sided head symbolizes the gift of ubiquity. The scarifications recall the scales of the mythical serpent Djo, who is said to have created the world and father of Ebongo, primordial hybrid ancestor of men. Velvety polychrome patina, chips and cracks from drying.
Two totemic clans once formed the Kuyu ethnic group, living along the river of the same name, in the northwest of the People's Republic of Congo: in the West that of the panther, and in the East that of the snake. A secret male association, Ottoté, played an important political role in the appointment of chiefs. The initiation of the young people ended with the revelation of the serpent god Ebongo represented in the form of a head. The Kibe-kibe dances which accompanied the ceremony reactivated the successive stages of creation. The panther clan had a drum as its emblem. For its part, that of the snake had sculpted heads, painted in bright colors, on sticks that the manipulator, hidden under a long robe, held with his hands outstretched above his head.
Ref. : “The Breath of the Spirits” P. Redouin, Les éditions de l’Armateur.
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