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HOME : African & Tribal Art : Miscellaneous : Lega Ivory Standing Female Figure
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Lega Ivory Standing Female Figure - DA.454
Origin: Democratic Republic of Congo
Circa: 1850 AD to 1920 AD
Dimensions: 6.75" (17.1cm) high
Collection: African Art
Medium: ivory
Condition: Very Fine


Location: United States
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Description
The social and political life of the Lega (also known as the Warega) is regulated by the Bwami society, to which both men and women belong. There are seven levels for men, four levels for women. Figures are individually owned by the highest ranking society members,they are the most coveted of all initiation objects. Some anthropomorphic figures are called kalimbangoma. Each member of Musagi wa Kindi, a sublevel of the highest Bwami rank, owns a bone or ivory human kalimbangoma figure as a sign of his status.The iginga statues in ivory are the exclusive and individual property of the initiated association bwami . Of more general manner, all initiated lutumbo lwa kindi possesses at least a statue of this type, obtained at the time of his or her accession to this very high rank. According to Biebuyck (in Tervuren, 1995: 381), these statues most often were inherited of a deceased parent after having been displayed on his grave. Each is associated with a specific aphorism. They "recall the virtues of the initiated past generations, they maintain rules and moral, social, lawful and philosophical norms defended by their predecessors; they are the links between the past generations and the present . - (DA.454)

 

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