African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Yaka Mask

Yaka Mask (N° 16479)

An elaborate structure, in textile-trimmed basketry, where a central cone bearing two circular trays framed by antennae form a strange headdress, distinguishes this African mask from the northern Yaka. The trumpet nose, a phallic symbol, an allusion to fertility, forms a distinctive feature confirming the yaka origin. The circular frame surrounding the face is reduced on this copy to a single visor. Natural pigments, curving, locally flaked.
Introducing songs accompanied the appearance of the African Yaka mask, which incorporates the category of high-ranking masks thanks to its tiered headdress. Their design aroused the creativity of the sculptors whom the chefs rewarded for their talent. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their subjects. Hunting and the prestige that ensues are an opportunity today for the Yaka to invoke ancestors and resort to rituals with the help of charms related to the institution "khosi". The initiation society of young people is the n-khanda , which is found in the Eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc...),and which uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. C.M.Faïk-Nzuji, The Power of the Sacred; Yaka , Arthur P.Bourgeois )  

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Originex-collection Mercier
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, osier, textile, raphia
Height cm68
Width24 cm
Weight0.85 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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