A dark wooden figure with a heart shaped face and yellow orange pigment on the face and chest. The arms and legs are blocky and slightly bent. The head is squared off at the top. Custom metal base. 14" tall without the base. From a Gaithersburg MD collection acquired in 1990-2000's
The Mbole are known for their figures known as ofika which tend to have geometric features, elongated emaciated bodies, enlarged heads with heart-shaped faces, protruding mouths and crown-like coiffures.
Ofika figures represent men or women who were hanged for transgressing the moral and legal laws and were shown to youths during their initiation into the association to illustrate the consequence of immoral conduct and also to instill in them respect for the authority vested in elders and leaders. Ofika were displayed on other solemn occasions, such as executions, during periods of persistent bad hunting, when oaths were taken, and when serious conflicts between parties were settled.