Lega Bwami Iginga Figure, Congo #49

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  • Lega Bwami Society Iginga Figure, Congo #49
  • These statuettes are generically called Iginga, and were used in the cult of the Bwami, an association that organized the social structure and ensured the stability of the Lega community.
  • Lega wooden figures are rare and served as part of the contents of a basket used during initiation ceremonies. As Biebuyck (2002: 119)
    describes, '...the essential presentation takes place during the kunanuna masengo rite in lutumbo lwa kindi. The figurines are removed
    from the baskets together with numerous other manufactured and natural objects, and they are displayed. One by one, sometimes
    several in a single sequence, the sculptures are picked up by the presentors and danced wiith. For a long time these important figurines
    were barely represented in world collections. They were jealously kept by the initiates as expressions of their in-group spirit, as major
    links with the deceased predecessors and as a profound expression of ultimate values and historical interdependencies. Several of these
    larger wooden figurines represent in their morphology a sort of prototypical icon where form, action and meaning coincide to some extent.'
  • The Lega are a Bantu forest people of Central Africa, established in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in the provinces of South Kivu and Maniema.
  • Measurements: About 9 3/4 inches high, 10 1/4 " with the base
  • Condition: Medium