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A fine wooden Lega mask for Bwami

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Directory: Archives: Regional Art: Pre 1950: item # 1170085

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A fine wooden Lega mask for Bwami
This small mask created for use among male and female members of the Bwami Society is carved from a dense, heavy wood and shows ample traces of white kaolin encrustation across the concave facial plane. Bulging eyes are slit open to the back and the long nose has pierced nostrils. A slightly prognathous mouth has been cut through, and a series of rhythmically placed holes, created by the heated tip of a metal tool, surround the face region. Larger, pierced holes are present around the entire rim region of the mask in order to attach vegetable fiber as a beard etc. Surface patina is worn, smooth, and somewhat grayish yellow-brown on interior, showing similar on the once whitened region of the face. The darkened area surrounding the concave, simian-like face was created by using a hot metal tool to scorch the wood. 7.5"H x 5.75"W x 2.25"D. In very fine condition with some small losses and splits to wood. From the Lega peoples of the Maniema Region of D.R.Congo. Early-mid 20th C. Provenance: Galerie Muller, Stockholm, 1980's.


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