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Africa Direct

Lega Standing Male White Face Congo African Art

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Special Price $92.00 Regular Price $245.00
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Title Lega Standing Male White Face Congo African Art
Type of Object Carving, Figure, Statue, Sculpture
Country of Origin Democractic Republic of Congo
People Lega
Materials Wood
Approximate Age 20th century
Height (in) 27
Width (in) 6
Depth (in) 6
Dimensions Height: 27 Inches
Width: 6 Inches
Depth: 6 Inches
Overall Condition Fair to good.
Damage/Repair scuffs, scrapes, and scratches. right arm with indigenous repair. cracks throughout

Additional information: A Lega man stands tall exhibiting all the known motifs of the Lega form. His short arms are striaight at his sides and he has exagerated large feet. His face is painted white with several layers of pigment and his mouth and eyes are round as expected. Equipped with an attractive custom stand, this statue is immediately ready to display in any collection.

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. Initiates earn the privilege to wear and display masks which might be worn on their arms or faces or simply exposed on racks or on the ground.

For similar examples, and more information, see "ART OF AFRICA" by Kerchache et al. Biebuyck, D. "Lega Culture: Art, Initiation, and Moral Philosophy among a Central African People." 1973; ART OF THE LEGA, by Cameron, E., 2001