Title: Mask (ndeemba) for the N-khanda Society
Date: early 20th century
Artist: Unidentified Yaka artist
Medium: wood, fiber, and pigment
22 in. (55.9 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Morton D. May
Object Number: 411:1955
Place associated: Bandundu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Current Location: On View, Gallery 117
These types of masks are not worn, but rather, carried by holding a small post protruding from the bottom of the mask, hidden by its raffia fringe. To celebrate and mark the end of n-khanda initiation, the newly initiated young men tour neighboring villages and perform with specially made dance masks, such as this one. The purpose of the tour is to present the young men and celebrate their new status, as well as to collect gifts that serve to reimburse the n-khanda officials.
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