African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Chapeau League

Bwami Lega Headdress (N° 14763)

This type of head adornment is worn by the members of the highest ranks of the secret bwami society governing the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives and who instruct their adherents in terms of moral perfection
These objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and can therefore only be worn by the initiates. The owner cannot part with it during his life. Bwami has varying degrees, with yananio and kindi being the highest.

The materials used vary, they can be clothing buttons, cauris, pearls or cocoa beans. On a carefully braided cap of natural fibers, this head cover is completely covered with rows of pangolin scales, animal totem of Lega that suels of initiates can consume. He would have taught them the art of making the leaf roofs of their boxes. This animal with the characters of the reptile and the fish at the same time, able to roll into a ball to protect itself from predators, has a particularly developed hearing and smell. This headdress was once topped with elephant hair in reference to the destructive power of the animal under an unflappable appearance.

Source: " Insiders". Ed. Dapper Museum; "Animal" Dapper Museum.  

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Sold for 100.00

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Originex-collection belge
Material(s)plant fibre, écailles de pangolin
Weight0.15 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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