Lega / Zimba bust from Bwami, DRC Among the... - Lot 66 - Arthema Auction

Lot 66
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Estimation :
120 - 180 EUR
Lega / Zimba bust from Bwami, DRC Among the... - Lot 66 - Arthema Auction
Lega / Zimba bust from Bwami, DRC Among the many others used during initiations, this African sculpture featuring a head surmounting a conical bust belonged to a Bwami initiate. Glossy, shaded brown patina. Abrasions and cracks 29 x 12cm The teacher guided 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 the metaphors evoked by the sculptures, 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. Objects "won" individually were then kept in a woven bag slung over the shoulder, or in a basket for those won collectively. Bwami "Masengo" objects ("powerful things") frequently show missing parts, perforations or abrasions of the wood, due to ritual removal for medicinal purposes. A decoction of the particles mixed with water was then administered to the patient (Biebuyck 1976).
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