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

Mbole Statue (N° 24172)

Rare mbole figure made up of assembled faces, top of a pillar or funerary statue. These flat, heart-shaped faces, crowned with a visor, are distinctive of the Mbole. The matte surface, locally blackened, shows contact abrasions and areas of erosion. Desication cracks.
The Mbole 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 condemn to hanging those guilty of breaches 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.  

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OriginEx-collection française.
EthnyMbole
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm49
Depth14 cm
Width17 cm
Weight2.15 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle includedYes

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