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

Mbole mask (N° 22164)

The African Mbole mask such as this example comes into play during the funerals of Lilwa dignitaries or is used by the blacksmith during circumcision rituals. Relatively flat, only the eyes and the mouth are notched, the art of the eyebrows dug, a reduced nose composing a low relief. Velvety two-tone matte patina.
Height on base: 43 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.  

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OriginCollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm39
Width17 cm
Weight0.59 Kg
Socle includedYes

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