Reliquary Mahongwe Figure 

Reliquary figural sculptures are usually referred to “reliquary guardian figures” for their role as guardians of precious contents held within. Their function, however, is more complex as they also tend to serve as effective agents of ancestral power in communal rites and ritual performances. Such rites and performances are known for remedying social crises and for ensuring success in matters ranging from fertility and health to hunting and trading. Reliquary ensembles also played an essential role in initiation rituals that pertained to the transfer of family history and genealogy. Typically housed in the residence of a family or clan leader, reliquary ensembles broadly offered assistance and protection in shielding their communities from harm, following a belief in the responsiveness of venerated ancestors to appeals from their descendants invoked through sacrifices, medicines, and prayers.

Price upon request


Wood and brass wires


H58 x B17 cm


Brass and dark brown

Additional information

On socle

One of a kind, Vintage