African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask
This African Lega mask, offering the classic characteristics, indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different grades, and which joined the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of ngandu.
Height on base: 44 cm
Within the Léga, 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 called Warega, these individuals live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on top of hills. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the ...