African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega Mask
Bifacial Lega Masker (N° 20028)
Mask with intertwining faces, whose forehead is decorated with dotted scarification marks, common among the Legas. The residual kaolin inlays are partially flaking.
Height on base: 28 cm.
Within the Lega, the society of the Bwami open to men and women, organised social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. During ritual ceremonies, the Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks.
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 these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to undergo costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami,the kongabulumbu ,at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took place over seven days and involved at least seven performances. Objects 'won' individually were then kept in a woven bag worn on the shoulder, in a basket for those won collectively. (Art of the Lega, Cameron)
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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