|Title||Lega Mask Rare Old Congo African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Materials||Wood, vegetal fibers, cloth|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Damage/Repair||Arrested bug damage, cracks, chips and a very worn patina|
The Lega people live near the northern end of Lake Tanganyika on the banks of the Lualaba River and are also known as the Warega. Living in small village groups they have no centralized authority but govern themselves through a communal association known as "Bwami." This association is composed of male and female members who strive to achieve advancement in the various ranks of Bwami.
For the Lega the ultimate goal is to reach the uppermost level of "Bwami" when one would become a "Kindi," one who exercises moral influence within society. The complex system of instruction, initiation and advancement in Bwami 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.