These tribal statues providing protection against enemies were made according to the instructions of the Nganga ngoombu and the sponsor of the object. This tribal art sculpture was then activated using rituals and incantatory formulas. Among neighboring Kongo clans, the naked, squatting posture, sondama, evokes emergency action, attacking enemies in a supernatural way. Smooth orange-brown patina. Desication cracks. The Suku and Yaka ethnic groups, geographically very close in the south-west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, have the same social and political structure as well than similar cultural practices. They can only be differentiated by their stylistic variations. Hierarchical and authoritarian, made up of fearsome warriors, Yaka society was ruled by lineage leaders with the power of life and death over their subjects. The youth initiation society is the n-khanda, which is found among the eastern Kongo (Chokwe, Luba, etc.), and which uses various charms and masks for the purpose to ensure a vigorous lineage.
Besides their nkisi fetishes, the Suku chiefs made use of fetishes named bwene, bisungu representing the ancestor of the clan.
(Sources: C.M.Faïk-Nzuji "The Power of the Sacred"; "Treasures of Africa" ed. Tervuren Museum; "Yaka", 5Continents)
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