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Tribal art - Antique Ivories, African ivory statuette:

Whether in Benin, Congo or sometimes in Ivory Coast, ivory is a material used to make all kinds of objects: fetish, mask, spoon...

Lega figure in ivory
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Tribal art > Antique Ivories, African ivory statuette > Lega ivory

Among the variety of objects held by the Lega initiates of the Bwami Association, this rare ivory sculpture depicts a couple standing back to back on a Bwami stool. The object, while illustrating a notion of equality between the sexes, could refer to the primordial couple. Amber oiled patina. Partially chipped at the top.

The Bwami governed the lega social structure, open to circumcised adults and their wives and instructed their adherents in terms of moral perfection.  These objects are part of the masengo, meaning that they are sacred and therefore can only be worn by the initiated. The owner cannot part with them during his or her lifetime. Bwami has different degrees, with the yananio and kindi being the highest. The teacher guided the aspirant to a place where ...

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