African art > Head rest > Yaka headrest
Yaka Musaw zoomorphic headrest (N° 21607)
This type of neck rest named musaw or m-baambu, is among the African tribal art objects incorporating the ritual charms of matrilineal officials and family heads. The latter, who kept them in their bedrooms, sought to preserve their sophisticated tribal headdresses.
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Some of these carvings had magical charges inserted into discrete cavities.
Abraded brown patina.
Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of formidable warriors, Yaka society was governed by lineage chiefs with the right of life and death over their subjects. The hunt and the prestige that comes with it are the occasion today for the Yaka to invoke the ancestors and to resort to rituals using charms linked to the "khosi" institution. The youth initiation society is the n-khanda, which is found among the Eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc...), and which employs various charms and masks with the aim of ensuring a vigorous lineage. Devoting a special cult to twins, the Bayaka (Sing. Yaka) also use janiform statues named yikubu linked to the rites common to boys and girls.(C.M.Faïk-Nzuji," La puissance du Sacré" ; "Yaka", A.P.Bourgeois, ed.5continents )
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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