Masq Lega with handle
  • Masq Lega with handle

Masq Lega with handle

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Wood with wear patina, kaolin - Height 15 cm

Late 19th, early 20th century.

Retour de Voyage is pleased to offer for sale this mask from a private collection, Paris.

This wooden masquette is part of the ritual objects of the Bwami association.

"The Bwami is a voluntary, hierarchical association of "known" and "recognized" men and women. In Lega society, you are born a member of a kinship group, but you become a member of the Bwami by undergoing these rites, which require lengthy preparation, collective decisions and the consensus of other initiates. While membership of the Bwami is not secret, the rites are largely so, and remain closed to non-members."

Daniel P. Biebuyck, "La Sculpture des Lega", 1994.

The Bwami hierarchical structure comprises a series of grades and levels, with access to a grade or level subject to individual initiation. This type of masquette, known as a lukwakongo, belonged to members of the highest level of the superior rank and was displayed by the rank holder in front of new initiates during initiation rites.

These masks were generally fitted with a fiber beard (usually made of raffia or sisal) called an unzelu. They could be hung from the shoulders, held in the hands, attached to a fence, etc.Belgian explorer in the 1950s.

Data sheet

Type of product
Type of product
Primitive Art
Gift Ideas
For Travellers
Gift Ideas
A rare treat

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