Antique African Lega Double Face Bwami Initiation Mask/Old Estate Collection

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Seller: santafesandy ✉️ (2,682) 50%, Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE & many other countries, Item: 153619803762 Antique African Lega Double Face Bwami Initiation Mask/Old Estate Collection. Antique wooden mask from the Lega (Warega seen in older books) peoples of the Congo (Zaire formerly but the Democratic Republic of the Congo today). Simple, abstract heart shape, double face mask, with the “coffee bean” eyes, long nose, white paint (kaolin?), and small mouth associated with Lega works. Nice warm patina, inside and out, to the wood from age and handling, as well as wear to the white paint from use. Work comes with the stand pictured. 7” W x 7” W; 12” with stand. According to research, the Lega people do not have a centralized political organization, and both men and women aspire to moral authority by participating and gaining high rank in the Bwami initiation association. Lega masks and figures are used as symbols of the owner's rank within the Bwami society.The objects represent moral and social values, and are used during initiation rites. The Bwami works of art are often associated with proverbs, and these proverbs in conjuction with dance, poetry, and song give wisdom to members of the society. Beauty, knowledge and power are intertwined. Research also shows that many of the smaller masks such as this one (maskettes, Lukwakongo) are not worn but carried, attached to arms, beards, hats, or even in groups on fences at initiation ceremonies. This mask came with a group of older African pieces bought many years ago (probably in the 1960’s-1970’s), by a collector who recently died in his 90’s. I was lucky to purchase many of his pieces, including some very old, rare iron currency works which I will begin to list shortly. gsrxvers854 (GS 7.0.18 (854)) Condition: Used, Provenance: Ownership History Available, Handmade: Yes, Material: Painted Wood, Tribe: Lega, Original/Reproduction: Original, Custom Detail: 19th-early 20th century

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