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

Mbole mask (N° 20514)

This Mbole circumcision mask, used by the blacksmith during rituals, is carved in dense wood. Without a mouth, it has vertical eyes whose curve is repeated on the forehead scarification. The decorative motifs, in the form of parallel grooves, are coated with red ochre, adjacent to areas coated with kaolin.

The Lualaba province had several closely related ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole and the Yela are known for their statues embodying, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, named ofika. The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had a custom of judging and sentencing to hanging those guilty of infractions of the imposed rules. These offenses ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy encircling the lilwa. Disgraced, the bodies of condemned persons were given no burial and were buried in the forest.  

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Originex-collection française
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight1.55 Kg
Estimated dating2ème halfxx°
Socle inclusOptional

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