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The 20,000 to 30,000 Lele people occupy the western region of the Kuba kingdom. Heading the Lele is a king with limited powers. In their language and artistic traditions they are related to the Kuba people.
The sculptor hunts, extracts palm wine, and participates in daily assemblies. The Art of the Lele is not well known. It is similar to Kuba styles with the exception of its masks, which generally have a flattened shape. Each artist has a lean-to in the part of the village belonging to his age group. Lele masks are thought to have appeared in dances accompanying the burial rites of chiefs and in annual foundation/creation ceremonies.