The Obamba form a part of the Kota which are a number of groups of peoples with common cultural traits. They live in villages comprising of two or more clans which extend to several lineages or family groups that trace their descent from a common lineage ancestor. The Kota worships the relics of ancestors. At the death of a chief, the initiates would take from the body of the deceased various relics, which were then decorated with metal and rubbed with powders of multiple magical powers. Copper in particular was identified with prolonged existence and power.
These statues stood guard of the relics. The skulls and bones of important ancestors were bound into a packet and lashed to the base of the statue, the bones formed a stable base that allowed the statue to stand upright. The reliques were kept outside the homes, in huts at the edge of the village. Only the initiates of the lineage had access to this sacred place. At the time of initiation in the reliquary cult, the clans would meet to perform communal rituals; each clan’s chief would dance holding the reliquary.
Wood , Copper
Height: 15″ (38.1cm)