Legan DRC monkey mask African mask with a... - Lot 25 - Arthema Auction

Lot 25
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Estimation :
250 - 350 EUR
Legan DRC monkey mask African mask with a... - Lot 25 - Arthema Auction
Legan DRC monkey mask African mask with a primate physiognomy. Kaolin residue. This sculpted work indicated the stage its owner had reached within the Bwami, a learning society composed of different ranks, and joined by wives whose spouse had reached the third level, that of the ngandu. 27 x 17 cm Height including beard: 48 cm Sold without base Within the Lega, the Bwami society, open to both men and women, organized social and political life. There were up to seven levels of initiation, each associated with emblems. Following their exodus from Uganda in the 17th century, the Lega settled on the west bank of the Lualaba River in the DRC. During ritual ceremonies, Idumu masks were presented to initiates placed on a fence and surrounded by smaller masks. The teacher would guide the aspirant to a place where masks and statuettes were displayed, and it was through careful observation that the future initiate had to guess the more or less complex meaning of these metaphors, which largely referred to proverbs and sayings. Those who were not allowed to see the object, in order to be protected from it, had to undergo costly ceremonies, and sometimes even join the lower rank of the Bwami, the kongabulumbu, at great expense to the families. Each of these initiations took place over seven days and involved at least seven performances. The objects "won" individually were then kept in a woven bag slung over the shoulder, or in a basket for those won collectively. (Art of the Lega, Cameron)
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