A Yaka Suku Kakuungu mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo
Mid 20th Century- Provenance: Ex David Malik FineAfricanArts
21cm x 14,5 cm
Wood – Sold without stand
A Kakuungu mask that instills instant fear—whether seen from afar or close up—is well made according to the Suku. So it is not surprising that the yisidika, the charm specialist of the initiation camp, calls forth this mask to teach obedience and respect to initiates and to threaten those who might inflict harm on his charges.
Most Kakuungu masks are huge in size, this one with it's 21 cm can be put in the miniatures category. The mask has been polished on the outside. Inside old patina.
The Suku Kakuungu mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo usually appeared on the day of circumcision, the day of departure from the initiation camp, and occasionally for the breaking of food restrictions.
Its appearance served to frighten young candidates into obedience and respect for their elders, and to threaten the person secretly herboring evil intentions against one of the initates.
When not in use the Suku Kakuungu masks were displayed in special shrines of the mbwoolo society.