African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Mbole mask

Mbole mask (N° 22173)

A flat, oval shape for this African tribal Mbole mask which bears dotted patterns that are now barely visible. The features are notched, the only reliefs marking the nose and the lower lip. These African masks come into play during the funerals of Lilwa dignitaries or are used by the blacksmith during circumcision rituals. Height on base: 49 cm.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole and the Yela are known for their statues embodying, according to D. Biebuck, hanged men, named ofika. The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, used to judge and sentence to hanging those guilty of violations of the imposed rules. These offenses ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa. Dishonored, the bodies of the condemned enjoyed no funeral and were buried in the forest.

"100 People of Zaire and their sculpture" M.L. Félix  

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Originex-collection française
EthnyBira ou Hunde
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height cm31
Width20 cm
Weight0.82 Kg

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