Metoko Bukota Society Anthropomorphic Post, Congo #43

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  • Metoko Bukota Society Anthropomorphic Post, Congo #43
  • The Metoko People are the descendants of Lega migrants settled in the area of the middle Lwalaba, in the heart of the Equatorial Forest. Like the Lega People, their Political and Social Life is organized around a Secret Initiatory Association, the Bukota. The Bukota Society welcomes both men and women, and is compared to the Bwami Society of the Lega People. They are also culturally very close to their neighbors the Lengola People.
  • Kakungu Figures, which belong to Bukota Initiates occupying the highest positions of the Village Governing Society, are used during the Initiation Rites and Funerary Rites; the beginnings of Community Life, as well as the End.
    They indicate Rank and Status among Bukota Society Members, and usually represent a Male or Female Ancestor.
    The term Kakungu symbolizes an old person, full of dignity and power, who has fallen victim to Witchcraft or Ritual Pollution. Adapted from page 382 of "Treasures of Africa - Tervuren Museum"
  • The Kakungu Figures, often geometric and decorated with incised and sometimes colored spots, played a role in the context of Initiation Ceremonies, and were then placed on the Tombs of High-Ranking Initiates. The two upper grades of Bukota Members, Nkumi and Kasimbi, enjoyed the prerogative of physically holding certain Objects of Worship. (ref.: Art and Life in Africa, Christopher D. Roy)
  • Material : Light desiccated wood exhibiting heavy wear and Ritual Use and traces of Kaolin Clay on the facial surface. 
  • Dimensions : About 15 inches high, (15 3/4 " with the base)
  • Origin : Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Circa 1920-40's