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

Lega figure (N° 19158)

The African art of the Lega, Balega, or even Warega, is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, sometimes made in ivory.
A series of orifices punctuate the bust of this Bwami teaching statuette called Mr. Sleeping Mat ("Art of the Lega," E.L.Cameron). "Mat" means a mat, doormat, which would have been eaten away by red ants. Moreover, the object would represent, in the Lega thought, the result of the sexual libertinage in the society. The head presents the lega typology, face in heart. Matt patina pigmented with white clay.
This type of statuette Iginga (Maginga in the plural), was the property of the high ranking members 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.
The statuettes were used as the aspirants were initiated. Each one is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or a dogma is always derived.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
Countryrdc ex zaire
Height cm25
Width11 cm
Weight0.16 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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