African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Yela figure

Yela figure (N° 22172)

Very graphically carved anthropomorphic figure. The head with the flat skull is in prism, the hexagonal legs. The pubis forms an unexpected prominence. Glossy patina, golden brown, erosions.
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. It was during the ceremonies at the end of the initiation, presided over by a notable isoya, that these statues were exhibited, presented lying on a litter. In addition to this type of figure, the Yela carve effigies of ancestors.  

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290.00 
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Originex-collection belge
EthnyYela
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm35
Width10 cm
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960

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