Elaborated according to recurring criteria, the sculpted figure of the hanged Mbole offers a resigned and suffering physiognomy. The attitude in which the character is represented, resulting from a hanging, also forms a constant.
Two-tone patina, desiccation cracks.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. 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 end of initiation ceremonies, presided over by a notable isoya, that these statues were exhibited, presented lying on a litter.
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