k2y7s296.jpg (20993 bytes)Yaka (Bayaka), Democratic Republic of  the Congo

Statue of a dignitary. The Kwango River area (southwest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo) is the home of the Yaka and Suku, highly artistic peoples. The men traditionally practiced hunting, while the women cultivated manioc, yams, peas, pineapples and peanuts. Their institutions, political organization, and cultural traditions are almost identical; they can be differentiated only by the style of their statuary. The arts of the Yaka numbering about 300,000 are very much alive today. Their biteki statues that contain magic ingredients have malevolent or beneficial functions. The pickaback motif in the present statue is presumably a male dignitary. Being carried on the shoulders is usually a part of some rite of passage in which the person must be kept off the ground or be treated like a newborn child.

Material: wood

Size: H. 35”, W. 7”, D. 7”

 

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