MSSU African Art Exibit : The MSSU African Art collection features a variety of authentic works of art from various tribes located throughout Central Africa. The objects in the collection range from mundane day to day grooming tools to ritualistic masks and statues.
Lega Style Dance Mask, (Lukwakongo)
Object Name:
Mask, Ritual, Lega
Other Name:
Mask, Dance, Lukwakongo, Bwami
Place of Origin:
Lega, Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa
Aboriginal Indigenous Art.

The 100,000 to 250,000 Lega inhabit the forest region in eastern DRC. They do not possess a centralized political organization, and both men and women aspire to moral authority by gaining high rank in the bwami initiation association. Many categories of objects, including masks are used in connection with the associationís activities. Wooden masks with heart—shaped, concave faces painted with white pigment are owned, in some areas, by every male member of the most advanced level of the second highest grade of the bwami association. The Lega mask can be assigned different uses and meanings depending on the context of the performance. These masks are not worn over the face. Masks are attached to different parts of the body, piled in stacks, hung on fences, held in the hand, dragged on the ground, and occasionally worn on the forehead with the beard draped over the face of the wearer. Participants in most rites display their masks as a group in conjunction with particular dance movements and aphorisms, which vary depending on the context in which they are used.

Dark brown oval—shaped dance mask, with heart—shaped face. Protruding oval—shaped pierced eyes, long wedge—shaped nose, with pierced nostrils. Oval—shaped open mouth, tan or light brown raffia beard around entire lower outer edge of jaw. Scarification marks on either upper cheek, W—shaped on the left and M—shaped on the right. Dark brown patina covering entire facial surface.
Guy Mace Collection, (Turblex Company)
Wood W/Patina and Raffia
Ritually Used
Carving / Painting / Weaving
Art Department, Missouri Southern State University
Click to Enlarge
Front ViewFront View
Front View - 2Front View - 2
Right Side ViewRight Side View
Left Side ViewLeft Side View
Rear ViewRear View