Skip to Main Content »

You're currently on:

Search Site
Click on image above to zoom.

Mbole Funerary Figure No Arms Congo 29 Inch Africa

Regular Price: $250.00

Special Price: $55.00

Product #: 96583
US Shipping: $31.98
Add Items to Cart

Title Mbole Funerary Figure No Arms Congo 29 Inch Africa
Type of Object carving, funerary figure
Country of Origin DR Congo
People Mbole
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 29.5 inches tall x 5.25 inches wide x 5.5 inches deep
Overall Condition Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners.   Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use.  We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings.  Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.
Damage/Repair cracks, chips and gouges, wobbly, does not stand well

Additional Information: The form is likely a funerary piece, with a flat base in lieu of feet for sturdy planting in the ground.  The head shape reminds of the carvers of the Mbole group, known for the Ofika executed man sculpture. Holes are cut in either side of the head as ears.  The crudely carved face also resembles that known to be Lega.  The sculpture is taken from a single piece of heavy, dense wood and displays significant signs of age and wear. 

The Mbole who live on the banks of the Congo(ex.Zaire) River construct their lives around a semi-secret society known as Lilwa nkoi that exercises social control over Mbole life punishing malfactors and witches. During initiations of the sons of Mbole elites into Lilwa nkoi, figures such as this are paraded during the ceremonies carried on long sticks high above the new members portraying individuals who have been hanged for divulging the secrets of Lilwa nkoi to non-initiates. Executed males known as Ofika, are meant to be shown hanging resulting in a particularly unique depiction of the body with a thrust out head, hanging feet and the hands resting on their thighs all of which graphically represents the execution of the ‘teller of secrets’.