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

Mbole Mask (N° 17322)

Atypical mask, oblong, with the double headdress of sculpted Mbole figures. These masks are staged at the funerals of Lilwa dignitaries or are used by the blacksmith during circumcision rituals. Dark matte patina on a light wood, erosions.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole are known for their statues, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing those guilty of violations of the imposed rules to hang. These offences ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa . Disgraced, the bodies of condemned men had no funerals and were buried in the forest. It was during the end-of-the-introduction ceremonies, presided over by a notable isoya, that these statues, presented lying on a litter box, were displayed.  

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Originrécolté in-situ 1987
EthnyMbole
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm31
Width15 cm
Weight0.20 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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