African art > Statues > League figurines
Figure Iginga du Bwami Lega/Zimba (N° 17425)
A small stylized sculpture set on crenellated legs, with a heart-shaped face, concave, encrusted with cauris indicating the eyelids, it would refer to a proverb alone known to initiates. Beautiful dark satin patina, light shards and misses.
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The tribal art of the Lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette Iginga ( Maginga in the plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers of the Bwami, a secret society that admits men and their wives, and governs social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were introduced. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which always derives a moral or a dogma. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their effectiveness. Source: The Soul of Africa S. Diakonoff; Art of the Lega Cameron.
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