Tribal art > African mask > Masque Yela
Masque facial Yela (N° 18133)
Circular, convex mask, whose surface is hollowed out with large grooves coated with burgundy and black pigments. These large bands could correspond to the ritual paintings of the group. The discreet figuration, thanks to nicks, nose and mouth remains unusual. Grainy matte patina. Height on a base: 38 cm.
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The Tetela and Yela groups are of Mongo origin and are neighbours. The sculpture of the Tetela takes various forms, borrowed from the clans they rub shoulders with, among which inspirations are reflected with polychrome works. Several ethnic groups divided into lineages live closely intertwined in central Zaire: the Mbole, Yela, Lengola, and Metoko, and have similar associations. This proximity has generated some stylistic borrowings. Their artistic production has great analogies with that of the Metoko and the Lengola. Their divination masks were displayed during the closing ceremonies of the initiation and circumcision of the young people of the divination society nkunda, during which their masks were or 'ibola' appeared in pairs, male/female. These associations, including the lilwa of the Yela and Mbole, also emed those guilty of theft, adultery and murder. The judge, a high-ranking dignitary named , also presided over the ritual celebrations marking the closing of the initiations.
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
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