A well known mask from the Lega

aaaMystrySolvd-900Q:  Here is an African Lega with beard. The mask is 5″ x 7.5″; and the beard extends 7″ below bottom of mask at shortest point.  Sue, 900

A:  The first photo was sent with several others. I thought I should share it with you because it is very popular with collectors. The Lega are a large ethnic group in the one of the largest countries of Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Lega masks are used as initiation objects in the Bwami society. Unlike many masks in other African cultures, the masks of the Lega are not usually worn over the face, they are attached to the body, held in the hand or simply hung on fences during the initiation ceremonies. I’m also posting another Lega mask from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection which is different because white kaolin makes the concave portion of the face stand out. Both are beautiful because of their simple design.aaaMystrySolvd-900b

One Comment

  • Marc DUBOIS

    I think the mask is Ngbaka or a related tribe from the Ubangi area (North-West of RDC) My opinion is based on the notches -scarification- on the nose which are typical from this area.
    It is worth noting that the Ubangi area is quite neglected by collectors and dealers and that it is still possible to find good things from this area . So… “avis aux amateurs”

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