African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbole statue
Mbole Ofika statue of hanged man (N° 20953)
Depicted in a characteristic posture, legs bent, arms arched, hands on thighs, this figure with large animal ears represents a hanged man. Brown patina, kaolin residue.
The province of Lualaba had several closely related ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole are known for their statues embodying, according to D. Biebuck ,of the hanged, 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 . Dishonored, the bodies of condemned persons were not given any burial and were buried in the forest.
It was during the ceremonies at the end of the initation, presided over by a notable isoya , that these statues were exhibited , presented lying on a litter.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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