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Mbole Male Ofika Pose Congo African Art 27 Inch

Regular Price: $450.00

Special Price: $142.00

Product #: 94262
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Title Mbole Male Ofika Pose Congo African Art 27 Inch
Type of Object Carving
Country of Origin DR Congo
People Mbole
Materials Wood, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Dimensions 27 inches H.x 6.5 inches W. 5.5 inches D.
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 Worn patina, bug damage (mainly on right side and back), chips, scrapes, and cracks. Crack and repair in crest. General wear.

Additional Information: This Mbole carving closely resembles Ofika, but has some non-traditional elements to it, which will make it stand out in a collection. The crest atop the head and the bent arms on the thighs are traditional, however, the flat feet and non-protruding head are unique. Stylized elements included, this piece is very well carved by talented hands. The precision, symmetry, and detail in this piece are noteworthy. 

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 malefactors 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’. Mbole figures are generally painted white with facial details highlighted in black. In this figure  the body is colored in white and red carrying a mixed symbol of life and death.