|Title||Bwani Society Lega Mask Congo Custom Stand African Art|
|Country of Origin||Democractic Republic of Congo|
|Materials||Wood, pigment, raffia fibers|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th Century|
|Dimensions||Height with stand 14 inch|
|Overall Condition||Good 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.|
This is a house mask, used for protection, but not worn. Note the absence of eye holes.
Additional Information: 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. This mask shows long use and much wear with color defining the face and enhancing its overall design. Lega masks such as this are known as Lukwakongo, and are a relatively standardized size. However this mask is larger than most Lega masks which identifies it with the upper two grades of the Lega Bwami secret society. 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. Through time Bwami initiates earn the privilege to wear and display masks that might be worn on their arms or faces or simply exposed on racks or on the ground indicating their rank before other Bwami society members. For the Lega the ultimate goal is to reach the uppermost level of Bwami where one would be recognized as a Kindi, a leader and also a moral and social authority to be honored with the right to wear or carry certain masks.