African art > Statues > League figurines

Statuette Iginga of Bwami Lega (N° 17763)

This anthropomorphic sculpture of the Lega was intended for an insider of the Bwami and was part of an ensemble used throughout the initiations. The teacher guided the aspiring lega to a place where African lega masks and statuettes were on display, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these objects, true metaphors largely referring to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected, had to submit to expensive ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu , at great expense to families. Each of these initiations took place over seven days and featured at least seven performances. Items won individually were then kept in a woven bag worn over the shoulder, in a basket for those who were won collectively. Abraded granular patina. Kaolin residue.
At the Lea, 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 in 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 self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on the top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi, is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. Social recognition and authority had to be won individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior.  

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280.00 
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Originex-collection britannique
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, cauris
Height29
Width10
Weight0.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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