Collecting Masterpieces
Photo of divination-statue-suku-yaka-congo-galerie-golconda-barbier-muller-collection

 

Tribal Art
DIVINATION STATUE SUKU / YAKA
Africa

EX BARBIER-MÜLLER MUSEUM - GENEVA

 

Object :
Nº 968
Medium :
Wood Ivory, Bone, Coral, Fabric
Dimensions :
Height: 44 cm (17.2’’) - Width: 10 cm (3.9’’) - Thickness: 10 cm (3.9")
Bibliography :
This piece is exhibited in the Musée de Montélimar in France for the « Dolls, between rituals and tradition », exhibition from 1st April to 1st october 2017 and published in the catalogue.

Statue in wood covered with white cotton fabric coloured by earth. Presence of leather strips with various amalgams contained in purses hanging from the waist and on the back from which black feathers spring. The face is marked with various protuberances on the top of the skull and around ears. The arms are only roughly shaped and the nude wooden legs are quite stylised. Excellent state of preservation, no repair, Good strong traces of chagrin. Excellent piece, with an outstanding pedigree.

These statues used to represent ancestors or evil spirits. The accessories fixed to them are supposed to enhance their magical power. The Yaka statues are always charged, the seer or Ngaamba being the only one with the power to activate them. They are created by their guardians in an enclosed plot of land far away from the villages as they are endowed with powerful magical energy. Precise rituals with ablutions and words must be carried out. The statue is preserved in a shanty or cabin built inside the enclosure around the village chief’s hut. They are passed down from father to son and correspond to spirits associated with particular troubles or sicknesses.