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

Yela figure (N° 22178)

African sculpture Yela featuring two faceted characters standing back to back, separating from the bust, and of which two massive blocks form the feet. The heads, cut in diamond, have just incised features.
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.
Matte patina, abrasions.  

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340.00 
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Originex-collection monégasque
EthnyYela
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm29
Width11 cm
Weight0.55 Kg

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