African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Figures
Figures League Iginga (N° 17380)
Enigmatic statuette with a face carved in heart, like the masks of the ethnic group. Feathers could be attached to the perforations of the head. The rectangular, flat bust, on which horizontal forearms appear in relief, is studded with hollow dotted. The legs without feet, semi-resalted, are spread sideways.
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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 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.Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the chief, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranked. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be won individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior.
Source: Art of the Lega E.L.Cameron
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