Lega mask
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Lega mask
Lega mask (lukwakongo or idimu)
wood, pigment and plant fiber
mask measures 9.5" - with fiber beard 20.5"

Acquired from Tim and Bobbi Hamill, Hamill Gallery, Boston
Photo above: Tim Hamill

Lega masks
Lega masks are used as initiation objects in the Bwami society. Masks into five types according to material, size, and form: lukwakongo, kayam-ba, idimu,
muminia, and lukungu (Biebuyck 1973,164). They serve as an important mark of rank, identifying the owners as members of specific Bwami levels
(Biebuyck 1986,125-26).

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 of the Bwami society.

References: Art of the Lega
EXAMPLES BELOW ARE NOT IN MY COLLECTION - THEY ARE FOR REFERENCE
PURPOSES ONLY
Sotheby's

African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
SALE N08199  AUCTION DATE 09 May 06 10:15 AM.

LOCATION
New York  

LOT 64

PROPERTY FROM A EUROPEAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
A LEGA MASK

Estimate 12,000—18,000 USD
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium:   22,800 USD

DESCRIPTION
lukwakongo, of elliptical form and pierced at the chin for attachment of the fiber beard beneath the straight nose leading to a raised brow framing the
coffee-bean eyes; fine and varied light brown patina.

PROVENANCE
Galerie Leloup, Paris
Acquired from Sotheby’s Paris, December 5, 2003, lot 158



LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
Biebuyck 1994: 155, figure 56
Sotheby's


African, Oceanic and Pre-Columbian Art
SALE N08095  AUCTION DATE 12 May 05 10:15 AM.

LOCATION
New York
LOT 89

PROPERTY FROM AN AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTION
A LEGA MASK

Estimate 7,000—10,000 USD
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium:   15,600 USD

MEASUREMENTS
height 7 1/2 in. 19cm

DESCRIPTION
of oval form, pierced around the rim for attachment, the concave heart-shaped facial plane with a pierced mouth notched at the rim, beneath the pointed
nose framed by coffee-bean eyes in low relief and incised circles at the forehead; fine aged and varied deep brown rim with areas of encrusted kaolin.

PROVENANCE
Bronson Collection, Los Angeles
Acquired from Pace Gallery, New York, 1984

LITERATURE AND REFERENCES
Cornet, A Survey of Zairian Art: The Bronson Collection, 1978: 339, figure 191, catalogue of the exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh,
April 23, 1978 - June 4, 1978 (see bibliography for additional venues).
Sotheby's


African & Oceanic Art
SALE N08132  AUCTION DATE 11 Nov 05 10:15 AM.

LOCATION New York
LOT 109

PROPERTY FROM THE RAYMOND E. BRITT FAMILY COLLECTION
A FINE LEGA MASK

Estimate 12,000—18,000 USD
Lot Sold.  Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium:   27,000 USD

MEASUREMENTS
height of mask 4 1/2 in. 11.4cm

DESCRIPTION
of diminutive form, the convex facial plane with abbreviated features and a carved handle at the reverse with a long raffia beard attached; fine aged
surface with layers of kaolin.

PROVENANCE
George Stoecklin, France, November 1978


EXHIBITED
Notre Dame, Indiana, Traditional African Sculpture from the Britt Family Collection, The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, October 24 -
December 19, 1982
Additional references:
Art of the Lega
is a fantastic reference book on the Lega