African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yaka Mask
Yaka Mask (N° 24143)
Among African animal sculpture, this mask referring to the wild buffalo appears at the end of initiation ceremonies among the Yaka and their neighbors. It symbolizes power and the spirit of vengeance. Also associated with curative rites, this mask also participates in rituals linked to hunting.
Located in the Democratic Congo between the Yaka and the Tchokwé of Angola, the small Holo ethnic group migrated from the Angolan coast to settle near the banks of the Kwango River. Hunting and agriculture ensure their subsistence. The neighboring ethnic groups, such as the Suku and Yaka, have influenced their traditional sculptures. The Holo did indeed produce helm masks and prestige items for the ruling elite. The Holo used sculptures to guard against the influence of evil spirits, including that of the moon and the rainbow. These statues were placed near dwellings as protection against lightning. Bird figures are also used to protect against ndoki, or wizards, who activate evil spirits.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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