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Tribal art > African mask > Masque League

Kayamba League Masque (N° 17609)

Flat and tapered, this lega initiation mask displays zoomorphic elements that allow its identification. Satiny light brown patina, residual kaolin. These masks indicated the stage that its holder had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and which joined the wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu.
Belle patina light brown, residual inlays of white clay around the eyes. Long raffia beard.

At the Lea, 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 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, kindi, is held by the oldest man of the clan, who must be the highest ranking. As in other forest tribes, men hunt and clear while women grow cassava. Social recognition and authority also had to be won individually: the chief owed his selection to his heart (mutima), good character, intelligence, and impeccable behavior. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to insiders placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks.  

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Originex-collection E. Caldwell - USA
EthnyLega
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height cm39
Width13 cm
Weight0.25 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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