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

Lega of Bwami initation figure (N° 20603)

This African statuette "iginga" of the Lega, for didactic purposes, depicts a figure with hands joined in front of the chest, carried by reduced, crenellated legs, with round, digitate feet. The face is the image of the masks produced by the group.
Golden brown shaded patina, cracks and kaolin residue on the head.
Among the Lega, the teacher of the initiatory society Bwami 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 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 belge
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width12
Weight0.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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