Lega “Idimu” Mask, Congo
H: 25 cm (9,5”), W: 18 cm (7”)
Wood, white kaolin
Mask like this called ’idimu’ are used in several different ceremonies related to the initiation into the the five progressive levels of the Bwami Society. In the kanyamwa ritual, two women dressed in bark cloth and seated behind a screen, wear idimu. The initiates touch the knees, shoulders and chests of the maskers while four initiated women beat the drums. The idimu masks are considered to be mothers, the vital source and protectors of small ones. The word ‘idimu’ is often used as the equivalent of ancestors or the dead fathers. (Biebuyck 2002)
Literature: Daniel P. Biebuyck: ”Lega. Ethics and beauty in the heart of Africa”, Snoeck-Ducaju & Zoon.
Provenance: Private Danish collection. It was either acquired directly from Lau (Laurence) Sunde’s collection in Copenhagen, which dates back to the 1940s, or Lau (Laurence) Sunde was an adviser to the collector.
Sunde had a “Etnografica” boutique in 1948, that became recognized among collectors as the most specialized boutique of its kind at the time. Tribal and oriental artefacts were purchased from private collectors as well as at auctions in Paris, Amsterdam and London, among other places.
Full description of Lau (Laurence) Sunde will be forwarded by request.
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