Mbole Ofika statuette from Lilwa, DRC ex-Zaire The... - Lot 72 - Arthema Auction

Lot 72
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Estimation :
250 - 350 EUR
Mbole Ofika statuette from Lilwa, DRC ex-Zaire The... - Lot 72 - Arthema Auction
Mbole Ofika statuette from Lilwa, DRC ex-Zaire The attitude of this sculpted African figure is reminiscent of the Lilwa condemned man's sentence. The position is characteristic: legs bent, arms unnaturally folded, hands resting on the thighs. Interesting blackish patina, partially revealing an underlying light golden wood. Abrasions and cracks 44 x 12 cm Sold without base The Lualaba province was home to several closely related ethnic groups with similar associations. The Mbole are known for their statues of, according to D. Biebuck, of hanged men, called ofika . The lilwa, an association with dogmatic initiation rites, was in the habit of judging and sentencing to hanging those guilty of breaking the rules imposed. These offences ranged from murder to adultery, and included breaking the secrecy surrounding the lilwa. Disgraced, the bodies of the condemned received no funeral and were buried in the forest. These statues were displayed at the end-of-initiation ceremonies, presided over by a prominent isoya, and presented lying on a litter.
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