African art > African Statues > Lega figure

Lega Zoomorphic Statue (N° 13857)

Ex-english African art collection.
An African tribal statue belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, this sculpture is one of the objects "Masengo" ("powerful things"), among the diversity used during the initiations. With the face carved into the heart of the Lega figurines, the figure has a bulging bust, without arms, covered with scales, which could be associated with the owl or the Pangolin, whose scales are widely used in the headgear of the high-ranking Bwami. Glossy patina, locally abraded, long drying crack on one side, splinter on one foot. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were exposed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, The latter largely refer to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, 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 had at least seven performances. Objects "won" individually were then kept in a woven bag worn on the shoulder, in a basket for those who were won collectively. ("Art of the Lega", Cameron)  

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Originex-collection Steadworthy
EthnyLega
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood
Height22
Width8
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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