Declaration by Dr. P. Westerdijk
Exquisite Muminia Mask – Lega – D.R.C.
In top condition with some minor insect damage at the back. It dates to the 1920 /1930 period. On stand.
Provenance: Ex –collection of the van den Abeele Family, greater Brussels. Acquired from the last surviving member of the family by P. Westerdijk in 2014. The grandfather of the last owner came to Congo in 1906.
This fantastic bearded Muminia mask is one of the purest examples of its kind. It belongs to the group of the largest masks used by members of the Bwami society. It has strong simian features, showing the link the Lega thought to exist between their forebears and the big apes, of which both the low-land gorilla and the chimp were once roaming in the forest around them. Such big masks served as centre pieces on the display fence of wicher work (Pala) located in the open space of the village where the local chapter of the Bwami secret society held its meetings. Such masks were owned by famed office holders of the highest grade of the Bwami, i.e. the Kindi.A rare and fine item indeed.
Literature: Leloup Gallery: La sculpture des Lega, Paris, 1994, pp. 176.
Dimensions: 30 x 20 x 10 cm. The wood only.
People / Region: The Lega live in southern Kivu region of S.E. D.R.C.
Material: medium dense hardwood and vegetal fibre.
Weight: 0.415 kg.
Sold with handwritten declaration of authenticity by Dr. P. Westerdijk, museum ethnologist and cultural anthropologist specialized, for over 50 years now, in the study of the material cultures in African nations that live south of the Sahara.
- Exquisite Muminia Mask
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- medium dense hardwood and vegetal fibre
- It dates to the 1920 /1930 period
- Excellent condition, barely used with minimal signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 30×20×10 cm
- 0.415 kg