African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Figurines
Introductory statuette of Bwami Lega (N° 18774)
Small sculpted figure without arms, whose pointed chin rests on an ovoid bust. The characteristics of the face are reminiscent of those of lega masks imprinted with kaolin. Locally abraded satin patina.
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The African art of 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 ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette, Iginga ( Maginga plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers 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 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 autonomous 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 member. As in other forest tribes, the men hunt and clear land while the women cultivate cassava. Social recognition and authority were also to be earned individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior.
Source: "Art of the Lega" E.L.Cameron
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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