Teaching Ideas

Encouraging Dialogue

For Students K-12

  • When the reliquary guardian figure is put in place in a special room, the Kota call the place a "sanctuary for ancestors." What are some other ways that people create a place for connecting to ancestors?
  • Unlike this abstract object, guardian figures originally were complete human figures with cavities in the torso to hold bones and skulls. What features of a human figure does this object retain?
  • The face of the figure is covered in brass, except for the copper strips on the forehead and mouth. Imagine how the gleaming metal would appear in the shadowy interior where the reliquary is kept. How does the effect of the metal add to the function of the piece?
  • Can you think of an occasion when you or your family wished that a relative that has died were still around to give some advice? What kind of help might you need from one of your ancestors?