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    Description

    Mbole (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa)
    Ofika female figure
    Wood and pigment
    Height: 11-1/4 inches

    A distinct feature of Mbole figures is the position of the shoulders and concave torso, which gives the appearance of a person who has been hanged. Because of that position these figures are not freestanding. This is a posture associated with public hangings. Tribunals and executions by hanging are a feared prerogative of the all powerful Lilwa men's association, which controls government, the judiciary and other aspects of life. These figures are hung by ropes in sacred places, and shown to newly initiated members of the Lilwa. They are supposed to warn new initiates about exposing secrets of the Lilwa association.

    The presence of polychrome and a heart-shaped face are typical of Mbole figures. Abrasions and surface wear indicate a well used item in an African context.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    16th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 304

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