African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure
Figure Lega Kakulu ka mpito (N° 21679)
The figure Kakulu ka mpito where the arms are absent or pressed against the trunk, would refer to a man who would suffer from his wife's infidelities. It is also called Mukobania, to refer to a young man whose decision to invite strangers would have been disastrous. The head of this character is most often hooded with goat or felid hair, of which little remains on this example. The face is coated with crusty residues of white clay. Light brown satin patina, slightly abraded.
The African 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 intended for the highest ranking Bwami of different communities. This type of statuette Iginga ( Maginga in the plural), was the property of the high ranking members of the Bwami , a secret society admitting men and their wives , and governing social life . This organization was subdivided into initiatory stages, the highest being the Kindi.
The statuettes were used in the course of the initiation of the aspirants. Each one is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or a dogma is always derived.
The particularity of the Lega, contrary to other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their efficiency.
"Art of the Lega", E.L.Cameron)
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