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Tribal art > African mask > Yaka Mask

Yaka antelope mask (N° 16827)

This African Yaka mask, carved from soft wood, depicts a mythical antelope from local tales, patron of young initiates. The raffia collar is always present. Patina of abrased use. Residual ekaolin and red ochre tops.
Aerarchic 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 on their subjects. Hunting and the resulting prestige are an opportunity for the Yaka today to invoke ancestors and to resort to rituals using charms related to the institution "khosi". The initiation ceremony for young people is named n-khanda , which can be found among 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 chiefs. The blacksmiths-sculptors Yaka (kalaweni) were rewarded for their talent by the chefs.
Sowing a special cult to twins, the Bayaka (Sing. Yaka) also use janiform statues named yikubu related to rituals common to boys and girls. (C.M.Faik-Nzuji, The Power of the Sacred; Yaka , Arthur P.Bourgeois , "L'Art Tribal", Bacquart)  

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Originex-collection monégasque
EthnyYaka
Countryrdc ex zaire
Material(s)wood, raphia
Height70
Width25
Weight1.40 Kg
Estimated dating1ère halfxx°
Socle includedYes

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