African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask
Lega Kayamba small mask (N° 20893)
This African Lega mask of reduced size is flanked by erect horns that allow its identification. Satin patina, residual kaolin. These masks indicated the stage the holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. Sold with base. Total height: 24 cm.
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Within the Lega, the Bwami society 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 seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, they live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, the men hunt and clear land while the women cultivate cassava. Social recognition and authority had to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks.
This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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