African art > Mask > Suku Mask

Suku Hemba mask (N° 17715)

This mask is associated with circumcision ceremonies. At the top, a zoomorphic figure is referring to the qualities of the animal. These bleached masks topped with an animal are named hemba ch the Suku. The abraded matte patina hints at remnants of kaolin. Desication cracks.
The ethnic groups Suku in southwestern Zaire, and the Yaka, which are very close geographically, have the same common origins and social structure as well as similar cultural practices. They can only be differentiated by their stylistic variations. The mukanda is the name given to all the rites around the initiation ceremony of young puberty, dedicating the end of childhood and shared by many communities. This youth initiation society, n-khanda, or mukanda , which can be found in Kongo orentaux (Chokwe, Luba, etc.), uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. (C.M.Faïk-Nzuji, The Power of the Sacred) ( " Treasures of Africa Ed. Tervuren Museum)  

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Originex-collection britannique
EthnySuku
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood
Height30
Width24
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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