African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Statues

Lega Tricecephalus Initiation Figure (N° 16679)

An overlay of three losangic faces forms this tribal figure Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations. Relating to a Lega proverb, with two or more heads, this type of sculpture would always illustrate the need for a global view of events, and therefore the prudence, wisdom and impartiality that should result from it. (Biebuyck 1973). Grainy patina, kaolin, abrasions and shrapnel.
The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took place over seven days and included at least seven performances. Individual items were then kept in a woven bag worn over the shoulder in a basket for those that were won collectively. The objects " Masengo " of the Bwami ("powerful things") frequently exhibit gaps, punctures, or abrasions of wood, due to ritual sampling in order to use medicine. A decoction composed of particles mixed with water was then administered to the patient. (Biebuyck 1976)

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Originex-collection Mercier
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm35
Width10 cm
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°

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