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

Lega mask (N° 22539)

This African mask Lega indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different grades, open to men and women, which organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems.
Height on base: 31 cm
Numerous erosions, matte patina.
Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. 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 were presented to initiates placed on a barrier and surrounded by masks of smaller format. The passage of a rank indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality.  

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240.00 
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Originex-collection belge
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height cm21
Width13 cm
Weight0.20 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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