African art > Statues > Statuette Mbole

Figure of hanged Mbole Ofika (N° 18636)

During the end-of-initiation ceremonies presided over by a notable soya, this type of sculpted figure was presented lying on a litter box. Always sporting a resigned and suffering face thanks to the half-closed eyelids, and a narrow mouth, ajar, and a recurrent attitude, legs bent, arms bent in an unsotomy way, hands resting on the thighs, she embodies a hanged man. Semi-satin brown patina, kaolin highlights and burgundy pigments. Desication cracks, abrasions.
The province of Lualaba had several close ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole are known for their statues, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, named ofika . The lilwa , an association with dogmatic initiation rites, had the custom of judging and sentencing those guilty of violations of the imposed rules to hang. These offences ranged from murder to adultery to breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa . Disgraced, the bodies of condemned men had no funerals and were buried in the forest.  

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OriginEx-collection privée belge
EthnyMbole
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height39
Width10
Weight0.65 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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