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Face Mask (Idimu)

A work made of wood, pigment, and fiber.

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  • A work made of wood, pigment, and fiber.

Date:

Late 19th-early 20th century

Artist:

Lega
Democratic Republic of the Congo

About this artwork

Among the Lega, masks of different materials, sizes, and shapes were used in initiations of the Bwami association. Bwami was responsible for instructing its members in a shared moral philosophy. The teachings were conveyed through proverbs, with both handmade and natural objects serving as memory aids. Instead of being worn in front of the face, masks were held in the hands, hung on fences, or even pulled over the ground with their long raffia beards.

Status

On View, Gallery 137

Department

Arts of Africa

Culture

Lega

Title

Face Mask (Idimu)

Place

Democratic Republic of the Congo (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, pigment, and fiber

Dimensions

64.8 × 30.5 × 7.7 cm (25 1/2 × 12 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Grace Hokin

Reference Number

1991.387

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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