- There is a well documented Fang with a similar pose that can been seen on Rand s website, I believe you have a copy of that one as the patina and the carvingMessage 1 of 32 , Nov 4, 2007View SourceThere is a well documented Fang with a similar pose that can been seen on Rand's website, I believe you have a copy of that one as the patina and the carving are somewhat similar, If at all possible get to the Met and see the reliquary exhibit or get the book on the exhibit as there are some great examples of reliquaries all available for close inspection.Michael
armblanke2 <armblanke2@...> wrote:Dear members
I have this fang in my collection and was wondering if anyone has more
information on the meaning of the hand on the chin and also the
decorations with copper
From what I have researched this is a Fang from the northern area, but
I would be interested to know is anyone has views on the exact origin
http://ph.groups. yahoo.com/ group/African_ Arts/photos/ view/a930? b=1
Also, I have an exceptional double face bakota in my collection and am keen
to know if someone could point me to some links to information where I
can research more about the double face bakota.
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- As a follow-up response to a recent question posed regarding the double-faced feature of Kota reliquaries (mbulu), there are three examples of suchMessage 32 of 32 , Nov 20, 2007View SourceAs a follow-up response to a recent question posed regarding the double-faced feature of Kota reliquaries (mbulu), there are three examples of such double-faced, or janus, figures currently on display as part of the "Eternal Ancestors" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum and handsomely illustrated in the accompanying publication edited by Alisa LaGamma, Eternal Ancestors: The Art of Central African Reliquary (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art and New Haven/London: Yale University Press. 2007) -- from which I quote in this posting.An interesting element of the discussions of these particular figures, referred to as mbulu viti, suggests that the complementary concave and convex surfaces represent male and female, respectively (See cat No. 82, p. 258-9.). Referring to Cat No. 78 -- attributed to the Obamba or Mindumu Kota sub-group (as is Cat No. 82), Alisa LaGamma writes, "Janus mbulu viti were especially efficacious given their ability to anticipate danger from either direction. They were also believed to be endowed with the capacity to consume two different kinds of offerings simultaneously... It has been suggested that the oppositions embraced by such works evoke the existential polarities of life and death." (p. 252)A further reference which provides insight into another possible interpretation of the symbolism inherent in these dual representations appears in the description of an mbulu viti from the Ndassa sub-group (Cat No. 81, which appears on p. 257): "This image of complementary opposites is evocative of the Kota's dual conception of divinity: nzambi watanda, the celestial deity identified with the sun, and nzambi wamutsele, the deity of the earth and water, associated with the moon, fertility, and the ancestors." (p. 258)Additionally, the brief description/discussion which accompanies Cat. No. 82 cites Efraim Andersson's three-volume Contribution a l'ethnographie des Kuta (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksell. 1953, 1974 and 1991.) for the suggestion "that such such double mbulu viti were the earliest and most powerful of the southern Kota guardian figures..." (p. 258). In addition to Andersson's work, an additional reference cited that might shed more light on the topic of these double-faced instances of this form is Eugenia W. Herbert's Red Gold of Africa: Copper in Precolonial History and Power (Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press. 1984).I haven't yet had an opportunity to read fully through the publication which includes essays by Barbara Boehm, Elias K. Bongmba, Kairn Klieman, Alisa LaGamma, Denise Patry Leidy and Louis Perrois; these essays -- as well as the extensive bibliography -- may yield additional relevant sources for the explication of this feature.Incidentally, this exhibition features a magnificent array of figures of considerable visual and ethnographic interest and impact that combines the more familiar byeri and mbulu with less canonical and expected forms. Many forms and individual figures will be notably familiar from previous publications while additional, lesser known examples and traditions are introduced. There is a pleasingly dizzying and delectable selection of "reliquary ensemble[s]" and "sculptural element[s] from a reliquary ensemble" of exceptional quality and variety: Fang "sculptural element[s]" exhibited include examples from the Ngumba, Okak, Mabea, Ntumu, Mekeny, Mvai, and Betsi (incl. Nzaman); Kota works include Mahongwe, Shamaye. Obamba, Ndassa, Wumbu, and Mindumu. Additionally, there are further inclusions from the Mbete (treated as a Kota sub-group), Tsogho, Punu,Teke, masks of the Kwele (Kota and Fang as well), a notable assemblage of Kongo muzidi and niombo figures as well as a monumental Ngata efomba (commemorative coffin in the form of a male figure).Lee