Ritual Messengers

The Peoples of Central Africa

Kakungu figure. Metoko. Upper Zaïre. Wood, pigments.
© Africa-Museum, Tervuren

  The Metoko

The female kakungu statue has some stylistic features a concave, heart-shaped face and detached arms which are clearly reminiscent of sculptures used by the Lega in the bwami society. Kakungu statues, which belong to initiates at the highest level of the bukota society, are used in initiation ceremonies and are for a certain time displayed on the graves of high-level members. The statues indicate rank and status, and are usually represented as man and wife.

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