Peoples & Societies


Before settling in northeastern Gabon and the bordering areas of the Congo, the Kota peoples–forced by the Fang peoples–migrated across Africa for years. Kota society comprises several smaller groups that are governed by village chiefs. Kota religion, like that of the Fang, is based on the cult of the ancestors, whose power is thought to reside within their skulls and bones. Reliquary figures, the most common objects of Kota artwork, guard these bodily relics. The Kota also created masks and sculptures, many of which were destroyed in the 20th century by Christian missionaries. Today, the Kota peoples number around one hundred and twenty-five thousand.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 302.

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