lega passport mask
country: democratic republic of congo
material: wood, pigment
size: 4.25" (10.8 cm)
provenace: private USA estate collection
note: stand not included
These miniature masks of the Lega are sometimes called "Passport" masks due to their use as identification. They are often sewn onto a piece of cloth & carried on the person in a pouch. They are miniature copies of family masks and enable the carrier to retain contact with the spirit embodied in the parent mask.The masks are used to invoke benevolent spirits during secret society meetings. They also demand offerings from initiates during initiation ceremonies such as libations. In addition to warding off evil, the minature masks also serve as witnesses during initiation ceremonies. These legs passport masks form part of the Bwami society.