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Art of the Lega
     

Art of the Lega

by Elisabeth L. Cameron
 

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Drawing upon diverse sources, including Daniel P. Biebuyck's seminal fieldwork of the 1950s, Elisabeth Cameron investigates the culture and the art of the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Lega, art is only created for and used by the Bwami Society. Bwami is a complex organization consisting of multiple levels, and it forms an

Overview

Drawing upon diverse sources, including Daniel P. Biebuyck's seminal fieldwork of the 1950s, Elisabeth Cameron investigates the culture and the art of the Lega peoples of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Among the Lega, art is only created for and used by the Bwami Society. Bwami is a complex organization consisting of multiple levels, and it forms an essential component of the political, social, and religious structure of the Lega.

Within Bwami, artworks are used in conjunction with proverbs, anecdotes, and performances to form complex layered metaphors and to serve as mnemonic devices. As initiates move up through the ranks of the Bwami Society, a variety of different artworks assist them in recalling a vast corpus of complex aphorisms. The many beautiful examples of Lega artworks illustrated in this volume are drawn primarily from the Jay T. Last collection and include masks, animals, human forms, miniature tools, and spoons.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
This volume accompanies the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History exhibition of the art of the African Lega. African art specialist Cameron provides information about the physical world of the Lega people and then discusses their social community and the three structures that provide the framework for Lega life<-->family, circumcision camp, and the Bwami society. She discusses artistic practice and aesthetics, indications of identity and status, and the art objects themselves. The book is extensively illustrated with color reproductions of the art works, as well as a few color and b&w photographs of the people. Oversize: 9x12<">. Distributed by the U. of Washington Press. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780930741877
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
01/01/2002
Pages:
236
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 12.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Elisabeth L. Camerion is an assistant professor of art history at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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