Africa Direct
Africa Direct

Lega Bwami Hat with Mussel Shells Buttons Congo African Art

AvailabilityIn stock
Special Price $92.00 Regular Price $190.00
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Brand Unbranded
Title Lega Bwami Hat with Mussel Shells Buttons Congo African Art
Type of Object Ceremonial Hat
Country of Origin Democratic Republic of Congo
People Lega
Materials Vegetal fibers, mussel shells, buttons, pigment
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 6
Width (in) 6
Depth (in) 7
Overall Condition Good to 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 shells, dirt, wear

Additional Information: This is a traditional Lega hat with frame made of vegetal fibres using basketry techniques. The surface is decorated with mussel shells and vegetal plaites.

Lega hats such as this reveal status among the Bwami secret society which governs most of Lega life. Animals are important in Bwami symbolism, and elephant, pangolin, and hornbill all represent different levels of Bwami. For a fascinating article with numerous examples, see Elizabeth Cameron's article on Lega Hats in Arnoldi and Kreamer's CROWNING ACHIEVEMENTS-AFRICAN ARTS OF DRESSING THE HEAD