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

Lega mask (N° 22306)

Within the Léga, 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 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on top of hills. 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, men hunt and clear while women cultivate cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks, of collective property, were presented to initiates placed on a barrier and surrounded by individual masks of smaller format.
This mask is used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This is open to both men and women. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality.
Satin patina, kaolin residue. erosions.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height cm30
Width15 cm
Weight0.23 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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