African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Statues

Statuette Lega Nkumba or Mulima (N° 12755)

Ex-Italian African art collection.
African tribal statuette janiform without arms and endowed with a single foot in "z", belonging to an insider of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations. According to Elisabeth L.Cameron, these zigzag effigies are linked to the high-ranking women of Bwami whose phallic-shaped headgear is also named nkumba . When the figure is carried upside down, it is then called mulima (bat). The teacher 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, had to submit to expensive 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 included at least seven performances. Individual items were then kept in a woven bag worn over the shoulder in a basket for those that were won collectively.  

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Originex-collection Ghisolfi
EthnyLega
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood
Height23
Width12
Weight1.15 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1950
Socle includedYes

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