African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega figure

Lega initiation figure of the Bwami (N° 20405)

This "iginga" statuette of the Lega, for didactic purposes, has a hollowed out bust with a hole in the back. The face is in the image of the masks produced by the group. The small, stubby legs are reminiscent of legs. Dark patina, cracks and kaolin residue on the head. Among the Lega, the teacher of the Bwami initiation society 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, which largely referred to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to undergo costly 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 involved at least seven performances. Objects "won" individually were then kept in a woven bag worn on the shoulder, in a basket for those won collectively.
 

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Originex-collection italienne
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height33
Width12
Weight0.60 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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