|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Materials||Wood, raffia fibers, pigment|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|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.|
|Damage/Repair||Well worn patina|
Additional Information: Lega masks such as this are known as Idimu, and have 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. It has age and the marks of much wear and some damage to the lower left chin area. However this does detract from the highly abstracted quality of the mask.