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Lega Lukwakongo mask
The African Lukwakongo masks within the Bwami among the Lega
A Lega mask of the Lukwakongo type, commonly called a "passport" mask. The forehead is slightly domed with high, arching brows that have engraved vertical lines. The eyes are small and in the "coffee bean" style. The nose is long and widens at the drilled nostrils and the mouth is set low down, open and small. To the side of the mask are a series of holes for the attachment of a raffia beard. the surface of the mask has white kaolin clay applied. Mounted on a custom made stand.
Lukwakongo means "death gathers in", and these miniature masks are not worn on the face in the traditional sense of a mask. Instead, they are displayed in groups on special palisades in conjunction with dances that vary according to the context. the are also worn on the arm or even dragged on the ground by the beards during ceremonies of the Bwami society. These masks are owned by men of the top level of the yananio grade and are either inherited from deceased members of this grade, or from a living relative who has graduated to the next grade of the Bwami.