240245 - Rare African Ekanga mask from the Yela - Congo.


African Ekanga mask from the Yela, Congo.
Hand carved from a single piece of light wood, with color pigments.
Height: 34 cm with beard and 20 cm only the wood part.
The 103,000 Yela people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo can be found living in the forests in the eastern part of the country. The Yela live in independent villages, and each village is led by a member of the oldest family. While most of the Yela have small farms or grow cash crops, many are also leaving their farms to seek out work in towns and cities. The Yela are known to carve intricate masks, which are used in a secret society called the Ekanga. Most Yela would claim to follow Roman Catholicism, but they still practice animistic rituals. There are no translations of the Bible in their language.