African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure
Lega figure (N° 21666)
The tribal art of the Lega, Balega, or even Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest ranking members of the Bwami from different communities. This type of Iginga (Maginga in the plural) tribal art statuette, was the property of the top brass 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 as the aspirants were initiated. Each 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 statuette referring to a proverb known only to the initiated, it has an imposing head surmounting a stocky body with protruding muscles. Hands and feet are digitized while small orifices follow one another to represent the traditional scarifications. Golden mahogany patina.
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Source: "The soul of Africa" S. Diakonoff; "Lega" E. L. Cameron.