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

Sculpture janiforme Lega Iginga (N° 19028)

Ex Italian African art collection.

This Janiforme human figure, symbolizing a lega couple, is represented perched on a kisumbi , emblematic element of the Yananio level of the Bwami. Each of the initiates of this rank had a stool that he kept until his death. This object forms a metaphor of the moral values of the Bwami, its meaning evolving according to the initiatory performances. It exists in miniature version, bearing an identical symbolism. The sculpture is slightly skewed, a wedge will be provided with the object. Dark glossy patina, cracks of desiccation.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society, open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also known as Warega, these individuals live in autonomous villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, Kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who is expected to be the highest ranking member. As in other forest tribes, the men hunt and clear land while the women grow cassava. Social recognition and authority was also to be gained individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior. In ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks. The sculptures are used during the initiation rites of the Bwami society. This one is open to both men and women. The passing of a grade indicated the acquisition of a certain individual wisdom and morality. ("Art of the Lega" E.L. Cameron )  

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Originex-collection italienne
Countryrdc ex zaire
Weight2.15 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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