K1Y7M625S.jpg (31550 bytes)K1Y7M625.jpg (36661 bytes)Yaka (Bayaka), Democratic Republic of  the Congo

Initiation (nkisi) Mask. The Kwango River (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. This is an example of a nkisi mask. Yaka masks are usually used in initiation camps to celebrate the passage of young men into adulthood. After undergoing various trials in more or less secret camps, the initiates appear in the village, dancing and wearing masks prepared for this purpose. They appeared in pairs, and it was customary for the villagers to grant their wishes. All the nkisi masks have a handle.

Material: wood

Size: 13”x8”x3”