NGATA FIGURES, DRC

NGATA
Figure 3
66.5" high
$2000

  

NGATA
Figure 4
50.5" high
$1000

 

NGATA
Figure 5
45.5" high
$800

NGATA
Figure 10
31.5" high
$600

NGATA
Figure 11
60" high
$1500

 

 

 

NGATA
Figures
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Photographs © Tim Hamill

NGATA, Figures, DRC

Despite their appearance these coffins were probably made to be sold.

All sculpture made among the Ngata is related to their elaborate funerary rituals. Best known are the wooden anthropomorphic polychromed coffins, which exist in both male and female forms. Reports about their use conflict, but what is certain is that they were carved in secrecy at a sacred clearing in the forest called Efomba by a ritual specialist woodcarver, bobongo, and the coffin is called bonganga-nganga. These anthropomorphic figures were put on the tombs of important people, in a small house built solely for that purpose.

Ngata coffins all have a similar hyperelongation, often with a herringbone pattern which lends the figure an appearance of even more height.


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