Lot: 316

Mask "ndeemba"

D. R. Congo, Yaka

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Swedish missionary collection
Max Willborg, Stockholm, Sweden (1979)
Berndt Helleberg, Stockholm, Sweden
Pierre Dartevelle, Brussels, Belgium
Alex Arthur, Brussels, Belgium
H: 21.7 inch 7000 EUR / 15000 EUR

wood, plant fibre, fabric, pigments, base The small mask face is worked on paddle shaped handle. The bonnet is made of extremely fine woven fibre with five cone-shaped projections. The mask was used in context of initiation "mukhanda", that includes circumcision rituals. To mark the end of the educational period, festivities are held in which the initiates perform with newly carved masks. The dance of the masks is accompanied by chants confirming the male supremacy and the social rank of the young men.


Bourgeois, Arthur: "Of Noses and Penises", Masculine Imagery among the Yaka of Southwestern Congo, in: Tribal Art Magazine XV:3 - no 60, Summer 2011, p. 109, Fig. 15

ADHRC: 0146555