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

Lega zoomorphic mask (N° 21612)

This African mask, probably from the Lega, appears to depict a mammal, a feline more precisely.
Mottled patina rubbed with kaolin.
These masks indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different ranks, and which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of the ngandu.


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.  

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250.00 
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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height25
Width17
Weight0.30 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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African art - Lega zoomorphic mask
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