African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Mbole statue

Mbole Ofika statue (N° 20201)

The sculptor Mbole has endowed the figure with a resigned and suffering physiognomy thanks to half-closed eyelids and a narrow mouth in a pale face. The position is characteristic: legs bent, arms folded in an unnatural way, hands placed on the thighs. Black brown patina, white highlights. Misses and cracks from desiccation. The Lualaba province 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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OriginCollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm50
Width11 cm
Weight1.30 Kg
Socle includedYes

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