African art > African mask > Yaka Mask

Yaka polychrome face mask (N° 13154)

This African Yaka mask with a handle sports the famous trumpet nose, a distinctive feature of the masks associated with the initiation ceremonies of societies Ngoni and Yiwilla . Their design aroused the creativity of the sculptors whom the chefs rewarded for their talent. The raffia beard is still present, and a wicker frame, on which cotton strips and ropes have been attached, forms a rigid headdress at the top. Surface erosions and traces of xylophages. Hierarchical and authoritarian, composed of fearsome warriors, the Yaka society, now established on the banks of the Waamba river in the south-west of the R.D.C. (Western Kasai), was ruled by lineage leaders with the right to life and death over their Topics. 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 youth initiation ceremony is named n-khanda , which can be found in the Eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc...),and which uses various charms and masks in order to ensure a vigorous lineage. Many prestigious objects were also used by the chefs. The Bayaka (Sing. Yaka) also use janiform statues called yikubu related to the rites common to boys and girls. (C.M.Faïk-Nzuji, The Power of the Sacred; Yaka , Arthur P.Bourgeois , "The Tribal Art", Bacquart)  

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OriginEx collection Devrindt
EthnyYaka
CountryRDC
Material(s)wood, plant fibre
Height45
Width25
Weight0.70 Kg
Estimated datingcirca 1960
Socle inclusOptional

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