YAKA MASKS ARCHIVES, DRC

The masks below have been sold and are left here for reference and educational purposes.

For UNSOLD Yaka masks GO TO YAKA MASKS PAGE

 Yaka
Mask 1
SOLD

 Yaka
Mask 5
SOLD

 

 Yaka
Mask 6
SOLD

 Yaka
Mask 10
SOLD
 

 Yaka
Mask 13
SOLD
 

 Yaka
Mask 14
SOLD
 

 Yaka
Mask 15
SOLD

 Yaka
Mask 20
SOLD

 

 Yaka
Mask 23
SOLD

 

 Yaka
Mask 24
SOLD

 

 Yaka
Mask 25
SOLD

Photographs © Tim Hamill

YAKA, MASKS, Wood, cloth, paint and raffia, DRC

The most important event in the Yaka ceremonial cycle is the initiation of young boys into adulthood. To mark the end of the educational period, festivities are held in which the initiates perform with newly carved masks. Additionally, it showcases the most startling masks and the most spectacular dances.

Initiation mukhanda, that includes circumcision, is a crucial part of Yaka life. Circumcision and initiation, mandatory for all young men, are organized in a remote place called mukhanda-mu-msitu. The rituals are organized by the main secret societies : ngoni and yiwilla.

These masks are carved for initiation and are used only once. The carver (muumbwa) repairs and carves new masks for circumcisions which are danced in pairs or groups, except the mask worn by the tutor's leader who dances alone. Masked dancer first asks permission and begs gifts wherever the initiates travel to perform. The ritual expert and his aide, the senior tutor, the sculptor, and the initiates wear different masks. The most common masks (kholuka) are used by initiates and vary greatly. A tutor wears a zoomorphic mask named mpakasa, our numbers 6 and 14. During its performance, the mask was held by a handle hidden behind the raffia cloth, showing only on mask 13, but on all masks except for 2, 4, 9, 11, 15, 17 and 19.

Most Yaka masks have a painted cloth shape or figure(s) fastened over a reed structure as shown in the detail from mask no. 2. Several masks are completely of wood and include no cloth, ( Numbers 4, 11, 12, 15 and 19.)

 

GO TO YAKA MASKS PAGE

GO TO YAKA SCULPTURE PAGE

GO TO AFRICAN SELECTIONS 5 EXHIBITION PAGE

GO TO MASKS AND HEADS PAGE


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