The land of the Kota, numbering some 75,000, is situated in the eastern part of Gabon, extending slightly into the Congo Republic. The Kota are actually a number of groups of peoples with common cultural traits. Ancestor worship formed the core of the family group’s religious and social life. Clans in turn comprise several lineages or family groups that trace their descent from a common lineage ancestor. This is an important point related to their art, for like the Fang, the Kota revere the relics of ancestors. Ancestor worship formed the core of the family group’s religious and social life.
These kinds of rattles were used during ceremonies related to the ancestral cult named bwete. The bwete was called on in time of crisis to combat unseen agents of harm. Its intercession was sought in such vital matters as fertility, success in hunting, and in commercial ventures.