African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure
Lega figure (N° 20549)
The tribal art of the Lega, Balega, or even Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made in ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest ranking Bwami of different communities.
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This type of tribal art 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 dogma always derives.
The particularity of the Lega, contrary to other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their efficiency.
Small striated figure whose characteristics evoke those of the Metoko. Devoid of hands, it presents a head with a heart-shaped face and thick legs.
Semi-satin patina, cracks of desiccation.
Source : "The soul of Africa" S. Diakonoff