YakaREGION OF ORIGIN:
Democratic Republic of CongoMATERIAL:
Wood, rope, fiber, fetish material.SIZE:
19.75" (50.2 cm) TallCONDITION:
Private USA Estate Collection
Yaka (or yakala) means “the strong ones,” while the term “Ba” means people. “Bayaka” translates to “the strong people.” Yaka people live along the Wamba River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Yaka are closely knit people headed by a chief known as the Kiamfu, who allocates responsibilities to pedigreed chiefs known as Unkwagata. The Yaka have a rich masking and figural artistic tradition, much of which is heavily influenced by their neighbors —the Suku, the Kongo, the Holo and the Teke. Yaka figures are mostly associated with Mbwoolo shrines. The hollow abdomen enable the insertion of fetish materials (biteki) which were attached with bundles of paraphernalia (io), and closed up with a resin stopper and bound into burlap bundles or enclosed in small bags hung around the neck or waist.