Lega Mask Bwami Society Congo price request

Potential buyers are urged to delve into the attached photographs and discern the mask’s authenticity. This is far from the tourist replicas fashioned in the mid-20th century. Those well-acquainted with esteemed auction houses like Sotheby’s, Bonham, Christie’s, and Barakat will recognize the calibre and significance of such a mask. Insights from Artkhade.com and the revered “AFRICAN ART Sculpture” by PIERRE MEAUZÉ emphasize the mask’s significance. The “Africa: The art of a continent” further corroborates its authenticity. Bearing a legacy from a private UK collection, Lega masks of this prestige frequently command prices ranging from £3,000 to £30,000.



This impressive Lega Mask, measuring at 25.3 cm, originates from the Bwami Society of Congo and serves as a potent emblem of initiation. Used predominantly within the first two levels of the Bwami society, its white sections were diligently repainted with Pembe each time it graced ceremonial dances. Exhibiting genuine signs of age and use, the mask was not only worn by initiates but also showcased prominently during ceremonies.

Residing near the northern pinnacle of Lake Tanganyika along the Lualaba River, the Lega (also known as the Warega) uphold a unique societal structure. With no centralized power, they rely on the Bwami, a communal association with a meticulous ranking system. Achieving the esteemed “Kindi” rank in Bwami signifies one’s moral ascendancy within the community. This mask, deeply intertwined with the Bwami’s multifaceted initiation and ranking processes, acts as a testament to an initiate’s rank and knowledge. Every mask earned and worn is a symbol of an individual’s journey and understanding within the Bwami.


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