Lega figure - African art



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African art > Ivory > Lega figure

Kalimbangoma Lega Figurines (N° 16650)

Belgian African art collection.
Among the variety of objects held by the lega initiates of the Bwami association, this anthropomorphic figurine, a rare small ivory talisman of tapered form kalimbangoma, had a protective role. Similar figurines, the katimbitimbi, were worn at the belt by the highest ranking women of the Bwami. Light oiled patina.
The Bwami governed the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives, and educated their adherents in terms of moral perfection.  These objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and therefore can only be worn by initiates. The owner cannot part with them during his lifetime. The Bwami has different degrees, the yananio and kindi being the highest. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of the metaphors associated with the sculptures, referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Each of these initiations lasted seven days and included at least seven performances. The objects "won" individually were then kept in a woven bag carried on the shoulder, in a basket for those who were won collectively.  

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OriginCollection Pr. Jan Putteneers
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)ivoire
Height13
Width4
Weight0.07 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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