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Lot n° 45

Lega initiation figure from Bwami, DRC Small statuette...

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Lega initiation figure from Bwami, DRC Small statuette referring to a proverb known only to initiates, with long arms crossed over the bust. Light golden-brown patina. Desiccation cracks 30 x 10 cm The tribal art of the Lega, Balega or Warega is distinguished by its initiation statuettes, also made of ivory, some of which were kept in a basket destined for the highest Bwami officials of various communities. This type of Iginga (plural Maginga) tribal art statuette belonged to the top brass of the Bwami, a secret society admitting men and their wives, and governing social life. This organization was subdivided into initiatory stages, the highest of which was 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 dogma is always derived. Unlike other ethnic groups, the Lega are particular in judging the quality of their ritual objects by their effectiveness. Source: "L'âme de l'Afrique" S. Diakonoff