Delaire Graff Estate, Africa Nova- Bwami mask

Bwami Mask

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Lega, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, 20th century
Wood, and white pembe pigment
409 g | 30cm W x 16cm H
Among the Lega people of eastern Congo, Bwami was a semi-secret society whose members sought to attain wisdom and moral authority. The various stages and ranks were commemorated with specially carved masks. The uppermost level was known as Kindi.  The masks however, were rarely worn on the face during Bwami ceremonial dances. They were sometimes held in the dancer’s hands, but were more often displayed on fence posts in the ceremonial area.