African art > Tam-Tam, Djembe, musical instruments > Yaka Drum
Yaka Drum (N° 21334)
The Yaka like to surround themselves in daily life with charms embellished with sculpted objects with cephalomorphic motifs, such as this African musical instrument, Yaka slit drum, mukoku ngombu, nkoku ngombu, intended for divination ceremonies and curative rites. The head, which would represent the mediator diviner wearing a high skullcap, has a heart-shaped face in which the eyelids protrude.
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Satin patina, locally abraded. Cracks and marks of use.
Among the Yaka, at the new moon, the ngaanga ngoombu diviner covers his face with kaolin before issuing an oracle. During its daytime passage through the underground, the moon coats itself with this white clay. The night would convey the virtues of life. The Mukoku Nogombu drum is the miniature version of the large mondo slit drums and accompanies ritual chants. It was also used to mix ingredients for medicinal use.
Yaka society is extremely hierarchical and authoritarian. The head of the lineage has indeed the right of life and death over his subjects. As is often the case, the ethnic group's artistic movement was influenced by neighboring populations. For the Yaka, the influence is mainly from the Suku and Kongo ethnic groups.
Ref : "Yaka" A.P. Bourgeois (ed. 5Continents)