In Kota communities of eastern Gabon, bark boxes or baskets containing a clan's relics were accompanied by symbolic ancestral representations known as bwete. Bwete are highly abstract, two-dimensional figurative wood sculptures whose surfaces are covered with carefully applied sheets and strips of copper or brass. The use of these metals was attractive to patrons aesthetically, for their tonal and reflective qualities, as well as for their regional associations with wealth. Kota migrations over the entire eastern part of Gabon and the region bordering the Congo to the south resulted in a rich diversity of stylistic interpretations of this multimedia sculptural tradition. For ritual purposes, bwete were arrayed in semidarkness within a small enclosure, sheltered from the gaze of onlookers.