Reliquary protective figures and ancestors in african artCult of the ancestors exists in several cultures in Africa. The dead person is believed to live in a parallel world from where he still can influence the world of the living. This is why their bones had to be respected and given offerings so the spirit of the dead would protect the living. Baskets or figures were made to gather bones and protect them. Among these figures, the best known are probably the Byeri figures of the Fang, and the Mahongwe and Kota stylized figures.