African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Couple
Lega Couple (N° 24117)
Leaning on the knees, squatting back to back, the face with the features of a lega mask, these statuettes connected by fabric cords would symbolize a proverb known to future Bwami initiates. Velvety two-tone patina, grainy residues of kaolin, erosions.
The African art of 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 Bwami from different communities. This type of Iginga ( Maginga in the plural) tribal art statuette was the property of the high ranks 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.
Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. Also called Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on top of hills. The role of the leader, kindi , is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest in rank. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women cultivate cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be earned individually: the leader owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and irreproachable behavior.
Source: "Art of the Lega" E.L.Cameron
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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