This is an amazing Old Ndeema Mask for N-khansa Initiation from the Yaka People from Kwango or Kwilu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo. There are several types of masks are used in dances celebrating the emergence of young initiates from the Yaka circumcision camp, where boys are ritually received into Yaka manhood. Initiates hold n-khanda masks like this one to celebrate their new status as men. This single most important event in the Yaka ceremonial cycle in a young's man's life. 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. The rituals are organized by the main secret societies . These masks are carved for initiation and are used only once. The carver 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. Most Yaka masks have a painted cloth shape or figure(s) fastened over a reed structure. This Yaka Initiation mask is very old and one of a kind. A fabulous addition to your collection or home.
COMES ON STAND
26" tall on stand
20" tall face to mask
9" hat to top
Collected in the field. Shows age, missing raffia, discoloration, but overall and outstanding mask in good condition.
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