African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Lega Cap

Lega Cap (N° 25041) Deposit sale

This type of headdress is worn by members of the highest ranks of the bwami secret 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 initiates. The owner cannot part with it during his lifetime. Bwami has different degrees, with yananio and kindi being the highest. The materials used vary, it can be buttons of clothes, cowries, pearls or cocoa beans. On a carefully braided natural fiber cap, this headgear is entirely covered with manufactured buttons (Mukuba). This old skullcap is originally surmounted by elephant hair in reference, under an imperturbable appearance, to the destructive power of the animal. This prestigious accessory, prohibited nowadays, was reserved for insiders of the last echelon who identified with the animal.
Source: 3Art of the Lega" E.L. Cameron; "Initiates". Ed. Dapper Museum ; "Animal" Dapper Museum.  


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginCollection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)vannerie, boutons manufacturés, plant fibre
Height cm17
Depth18 cm
Width40 cm
Weight0.27 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

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