African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask
Lega Iginga Mask (N° 17810)
Ex-Swiss African art collection.
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Shallow, stretched surface, on which are dug arches in the heart. The protrusion of the eyelids forms a hallucinated look and the gaping of the mouth an expression of amazement. This African Lega mask adopts recurring aesthetic criteria. Yet it offers checkered keloids, evoking some of the traditional motifs of which the faces were scarred. Residual, crusty, white clay inlays. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which was joined by the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Two-coloured skate abrasée.br / Within the Léga, the society of the Bwami open to men and women, organized 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. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi, is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be won individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to insiders placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks. This mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. It is open to men and women. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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