top of page

The Bakota (or Kota) are a Bantu ethnic group from the northeastern region of Gabon. The Kota once used reliquary guardian figures (mbulu ngulu) to serve as protectors of the family ancestors.  It preserves the memory of ancestors who will protect and guard the generations that follow. Kota mbulu ngulu are unique among African sculptural forms in their combination of wood and hammered metal.


As a class the students brainstormed what their mbulu ngulu sculpture would protect them from.  After discussing several ideas they sketched out the form of their sculpture.  The children noticed that they sculptures were symmetrical.  After discussing about how the symmetrical details added  more interest to the artwork, they added in their own designs to their sketches.  Once that was done they transferred it onto tooling foil with a stylus.  Since the traditional sculptures were in copper or bronze the children used copper tooling foil, however some wanted to use the silver side.  As you look through their reliefs try to figure out what were some of the things the children wanted protection from

Gabon :M'bulu N'gulu - Reliefs

bottom of page