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Mbole Protection Fetish

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Item 718
6.00 LBS
Calculated at checkout
Maximum Purchase:
1 unit(s)

Product Description

Congo art: Deep within the very heart of the Congo live the Mbole who are related to and neighbors of the Yela, Lengola and Metoko. These people received their names from the Swahili and Arabic occupations before the colonial period. The translation for the word Mbole is "people from down stream." Each Mbole village is governed by a chief who is selected from the elders of each family. The women farm and the men hunt. The Mbole have three very important and distinct societies that give the Mbole a cohesive social structure, dictate their behavior and formulate their beliefs and morals from circumcision to death: The "Ekanga" sect is reserved for healers, the "Otuku" for wives of dignitaries and lastly the powerful "Lilwa" society that oversees every aspect of Mbole social and religious life. There are four levels to the Lilwa society, which is led by its most advanced members, the Isoya. The Isoya are the religious leaders of the community, and when they die they are buried in a tree and his former house is left empty to remind the villagers of his eternal presence. The Mbole are a very devote and secretive people. Adherence to religious practice and tribal law is mandatory for each villager. One of the Mbole most important ritual object and spiritual objects are the "Ofika" statuary. These figures exemplify the stern posture of Mbole bylaw. The Ofika statue directly depict a villager that has been hung for disobedience. These figures serve among other things as a reminders to potential wrong doers. The wooden item on display was created by and empowered by the village spiritualist to help protect a specific individual from falling prey to sin or evil. The unique stylized head is divided by color which represents two separate poles of life. The whitened kaolin side indicates spiritual discord and evil. The terra cotta pigment denotes positive spiritual forces. The spiritual battle that this individual faces is bound to and within the wooden fetish. Heavy twine and native cloth serve as the containment barrier.

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Dimensions: 18 1/2 inches tall x 5 inches deep x 4 1/2 inches across.  

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