African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Lega Lukwakongo mask (N° 20813)

Mask of reduced size with regular features and classic lega sobriety. This type of mask was not worn in front of the face but was placed on a rack with other masks of different sizes, attached to the arm, the nape of the neck, or held in the hand. The learning society of the Bwami, composed of different grades, was joined by the wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Height on base: 32 cm.
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 during 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 the initiates placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks. This mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This society is open to both men and women. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain wisdom and individual morality.  

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240.00 
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OriginCollection belge
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height20
Width11
Weight0.23 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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