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Mask (Idumu)

A work made of wood, raffia, and kaolin.

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  • A work made of wood, raffia, and kaolin.

Date:

Late 19th/early 20th century

Artist:

Lega
Kivu region, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

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.

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Arts of Africa

Culture

Lega

Title

Mask (Idumu)

Origin

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Date

1875–1925

Medium

Wood, raffia, and kaolin

Dimensions

64.8 × 30.5 × 7.7 cm (25.5 × 12 × 3 in.)

Credit Line

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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