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African art - Lega:

Among the Lega, the Bwami society, open to men and women, organised 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, they live in self-contained villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, kindi, is held by the oldest man in the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, the men hunt and clear land while the women cultivate cassava.


Lega zoomorphic figure of Bwami
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Figures

Symbol of animal qualities, this statuette, forming the generic figure of a quadruped (mugugundu) from the Lega environment, belonged to a high-ranking Bwami. Kaolin patina. Eclats.br /-Following their exodus from Uganda during 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 chief, kindi , is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranked. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. The Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, governed social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi . Bwami has varying ...


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

Animal figure with a human face, used during the itinerant rites of the Bwami Lega. Light brown satin patina, residual kaolin incrustations. Copy similar to page 115 of "Art of the Lega" by E.L.Cameron.
The African art of Lega , Balega , or Warega , is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket intended for the highest ranks of the Bwami of different communities. This type of tribal art statuette, Iginga ( Maginga plural), was the property of the high-ranking officers 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 Kindi. Following their exodus from Uganda during the 17th century, the Lega settled on the ...


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Lega mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Ex-German African art collection.

Numerous perforations decorate the surface of this African Lega mask. The coffee bean eyes, close together, surmount a narrow mouth on which incisions show teeth. Dark satin patina. This carved work indicated the stage that its holder had reached in the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu.
Within the Lega, 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 known as Warega , they live in ...


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Bwami Lega Headdress
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African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Chapeau League

This type of head adornment is worn by the members of the highest ranks of the secret bwami society governing the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives and who instruct their adherents in terms of moral perfection
These objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and can therefore only be worn by the initiates. The owner cannot part with it during his life. Bwami has varying degrees, with yananio and kindi being the highest.

The materials used vary, they can be clothing buttons, cauris, pearls or cocoa beans. On a carefully braided cap of natural fibers, this head cover is completely covered with rows of pangolin scales, animal totem of Lega that suels of initiates can consume. He would have taught them the art of making the ...


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Sakitmatwematwe Lega Figurine
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Statue

African lega art and ritual supports of initiation
African statue Sakimatwematwe (Multi-headed) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, this sculpture is part of the objects " Masengo " of the Bwami ("powerful things"), among the many others used throughout the initiations. It is presented in the form of a human figure, a strange little character with a stretched bust on which appear two faces directed towards opposite edges. Matte golden brown patina. Slight lacks and erosions.

Lega Spoon
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African art > Spoons, ladles > Lega Spoon

If the aspirants to Bwami are symbolically nourished during the initiation ceremonies, the use of African spoons also extends to circumcision rites. The instructor places them in the circumcised's mouth so that he bites her during the operation. The bone or ivory spoons kalukili, or kakili , were, however, the prerogative of the highest ranks of the Bwami.Au The Lea, the society of Bwami 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, ...


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Statuette Lega Kakulu ka Mpito
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League figurines

The African art of Lega, Balega, or Warega, is distinguished by its introductory statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket for the highest rank of bwami from different communities. This type of statuette Iginga ( Maginga plural), was owned by the high ranks of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiation stages, the highest being the Kindi. The statuettes were used as the aspirants were inited. Each is a representation with a particular form and meaning from which a moral or dogma always derives. The particularity of the Lega, unlike other ethnic groups, is to judge the quality of their ritual objects according to their effectiveness. The figure Kakulu ka mpito devoid of ...

Small Lega Lukwakongo mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Primitive Lega sculptures in African art. This mask, which was not intended to be worn, but manipulated during rituals, displays heart-shaped eye sockets and coffee-bean eyelids, a simply incised mouth, giving it an enigmatic expression. Smooth satin patina, whose center is coated with kaolin. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached in the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu . Total height on pedestal: 27 cm.
Within the Lega, 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, ...


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Lega initiation statuette of the Bwami
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Figurines

Carved symbol illustrating a proverb, intended for an initiate of the initiatory society of the Bwami, this figure has a face resembling the masks of the ethnic group. The "legs" take the form of a circular stool with four uprights. Beige patina, kaolin residues. Cracks of desiccation.
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 from it, had to submit to costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of Bwami, the kongabulumbu, at great expense to the families. Each of these ...

League Masque
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > League Masque

Belgian tribal art collection.
Mask offering a face scarified with parallel cuts. The surface bears residual inlays of kaolin where particles of mica shine. This carved work indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different ranks, and which was joined by wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. Height on base: 62 cm.
Within the Lega, 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 seventeenth century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. In ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to ...


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390.00

Lega statuette of the Bwami
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Figurines lega

African lega art and initiation materials.
Anthropomorphic statuette whose bust is framed by long arms enveloping like wings. The stocky legs flare out, giving stability to the object. Dark satin patina, abrasions.
Among the many others used throughout the initiations, it belonged to an initiate of the Bwami. 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 the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to submit to costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of Bwami, the ...


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Sculpture Lega Sakimatwematwe
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Figurines

The African tribal art lega and the ritual supports of initiation
African Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an insider of the Bwami, this sculpture is one of "< objects> Masengo " of the Bwami ("s powerful"), among the many others used during the initiations. It comes in the form of a central trunk on which are sculpted four stylized, concave faces, directed in opposite directions. Related to a Lega proverb, with two or more heads, this statuette would always illustrate the need for a global view of events, and therefore the prudence, wisdom and impartiality that should result from it. (Biebuyck 1973) Satin patina. Desication cracks.
The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were exposed, and it was through careful observation that the ...

Sculpture janiforme Lega Iginga
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Lega Statue

Ex Italian African art collection.

This Janiforme human figure, symbolizing a lega couple, is represented perched on a kisumbi , emblematic element of the Yananio level of the Bwami. Each of the initiates of this rank had a stool that he kept until his death. This object forms a metaphor of the moral values of the Bwami, its meaning evolving according to the initiatory performances. It exists in miniature version, bearing an identical symbolism. The sculpture is slightly skewed, a wedge will be provided with the object. Dark glossy patina, cracks of desiccation.
Within the Lega, 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 ...

Bwami Mukuba s Lega Hairstyle
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African art > Headdresses and hats, headdresses > Headdress Lega

Ex-collection of Swiss tribal art.
This type of head adornment is worn by members of the highest ranks of the secret society, which governs the social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives, and which educates its members in terms of moral perfection. These objects are part of the masengo , meaning that they are sacred and therefore can only be worn by initiates.  The owner cannot part with them during his lifetime.  The Bwami has different degrees, the yananio and kindi being the highest. The materials used vary, they can be buttons for clothing, cowries, beads or cocoa beans.  On a carefully braided cap made of natural fibers, this headgear is entirely covered with cowries, a barter currency originally imported from the Indian Ocean by Hausa merchants. This cap ...

Lega Tricecephalus Initiation Figure
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > League Statues

An overlay of three losangic faces forms this tribal figure Sakimatwematwe (Multi-heads) belonging to an initiate of the Bwami, among the many others used during the initiations. Relating to a Lega proverb, with two or more heads, this type of sculpture would always illustrate the need for a global view of events, and therefore the prudence, wisdom and impartiality that should result from it. (Biebuyck 1973). Grainy patina, kaolin, abrasions and shrapnel.
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 ...

Introductory statuette of Bwami Lega
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Figurines Lega

African Lega art and initiation materials
Male statuette with a massive head reminiscent of the sculpted masks of the Legas. Thick legs support the whole. Chipped matte patina.
Among the many others used during initiations, it belonged to an initiate of the Bwami. The teacher would guide 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 the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to undergo costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu ,at great expense to the ...

Wayinda Figurines Lega
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African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Figurines Lega

African lega art and initiation materials.
Anthropomorphic statuette whose specificity lies in a rounded excrescence of the abdomen representing a pregnancy. These statuettes would be designated, according to Cameron in "Art of the Lega" (p.158), under the term wayinda . Light patina. br /> Among the many others used throughout the initiations, it belonged to an initiate of the Bwami. 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 the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, the latter referring largely to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to submit to ...


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Lega mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Ex-collection of Belgian African art.

Face in heart for this African Lega mask that was not worn in front of the face but placed on a rack with other masks of different sizes, attached to the arm, neck, or held by hand. The contours are streaked with hatching associated with traditional scarification. A raffia beard accompanies this tribal mask. Brown patina, granular residue of kaolin. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached in the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, and which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu . Mask on base: 38 cm.
Within the Lega, the Bwami society, open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, ...


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Lega mask
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African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

This multifaceted African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached in the Bwami, an apprenticeship society composed of different grades, which was joined by wives whose spouses had reached the third level, that of ngandu . Lustrous golden honey patina, residues encrusted with kaolin. Desiccation cracks. br> Within the Lega, 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 known as Warega, these individuals live in autonomous villages surrounded by palisades, usually on hilltops. The role of chief, Kindi, is held by the oldest man ...


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Lega Iginga Mask
African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Lega mask

Ex-Swiss African art collection.
Shallow, stretched surface, on which are dug arches in the heart. The protrusion of the eyelids forms a hallucinated look and the gaping of the mouth an expression of amazement. This African Lega mask adopts recurring aesthetic criteria. Yet it offers checkered keloids, evoking some of the traditional motifs of which the faces were scarred. Residual, crusty, white clay inlays. This African Lega mask indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which was joined by the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu . Two-coloured skate abrasée.br / Within the Léga, the society of the Bwami open to men and women, organized social and political life. There were ...


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Lega initiation figure of Bwami
African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Figurine Lega

Ex-Swiss African art collection.
This statuette composed of figures placed back to back recalls the metoko sculpture by the exorbed cylindrical pupils. It would however be a figure "iginga" of the Lega with didactic vocation. The surface, unpolished, shows adze strokes and residual kaolin inlays.
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 from it, had to submit to costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of Bwami, the kongabulumbu, at great expense to the ...


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