A fine Eastern Pende Panya-Gombe African mask. Coll.: David Norden
A fine Lega mask Provenance: Michel Boulanger
A little exhibition on view in my Shop in 1993 (all sold).
Lega masks are used in ceremonies from the secret society association called Bwami, Lega men where members from during there whole life. Most Lega masks have raffia beards and symbolize the old age. Some samples you see on this page where collected during the two World wars, the others before 1955.
The Bwami members believes in the spirit from the ancestors. These masks and objects represents spirits from the deceased people or from the forest animals.The masks where usually not put on the face but, on staffs side by side, or put on the arms to protect. Unless other statement all masks you see below where brought back by a Belgian colonial before 1952, and should be dated from the '40 s.
The art of the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo presents exquisite masks, spoons, baskets, abstracted figures, hats, and other types of objects made from a variety of materials. Among the Lega, works of art are an integral part of an adult initiation society called Bwami, and they teach men and women values essential to their way of life.
read also Art of the Lega : Meaning and Metaphor in Central Africa
Lega KBC: Ethics and Beauty in the Heart of Africa
African masks from Known Collections
Free African Art Authenticity Report
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Tribal Arts of Africa
Author: Jean-Baptiste Bacquart
mail David Norden phone +32 3 227.35.40