|Title||Lega Miniature Figure White Face Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Approximate Age||20th Century|
|Dimensions||12 inches tall on base; 3.5 x 3.25 inch base|
|Overall Condition||Fair. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
|Damage/Repair||broken foot, cracks|
Additional Information: A standing Lega figure hands on his belly. The surface shows some age. Lega sculptures are usually carved in a highly distinctive style, with a heart-shaped concave face with a slightly bulging forehead, slit ‘coffee-bean’ eyes and an open narrow mouth. Figures are many times covered completely in white clay called ‘pembe’ or simply as in this figure have the face highlighted through the use of coloring material.
Among the Lega people of the Democratic Republic of Congo carved wooden figures are used during ceremonies of the Bwami Society, an initiation, and instructional society that governs and advises on moral and ethical conduct. The complex system of instruction, initiation, and advancement for both men and women in the Bwami society uses masks and figures to document the various levels of Bwami and to serve as badges validating the initiate’s knowledge of the secrets of Bwami and of their rank. This appealing white faced figure with a marvelously abstracted body represents a major figure and perhaps a ‘judge’ among senior members of the Bwami Society.According to Cornet, "These figurines are often part of an initiation basket owned collectively by a clan, and used in the ritual display of objects in the LUTUMBO LWA KINDI rite.