Bwaka, Gbaka, Mbaka, Nbaka, Ngbwaka), Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African
Ceremonial Mask. The
Ngbaka number 400,000 to 900,000 and live mostly south of the Ubangi River
in northwest DRC. Their neighbors to the east are the Ngbandi, with whom they are often in
conflict, and, to the south, the Ngome. They practice
slash-and-burn agriculture, hunting and fishing, activities always preceded by a sacrifice
to the ancestors. There were various mask styles among the Ngbaka and neighboring groups.
The diversity developed because northern Zaire was a zone of extreme cultural variety, a
result of the intersection of two great ecological systems the forest and grassland
and several great cultural traditions. Customs appear to have varied widely among
Ngbaka from different regions. The masks were used in initiation ceremonies.
Size: 11x7 1/1x3