Yaka drum (Front view)

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Item : Yaka drum, Picture : Front view (approx. 19 Kbytes)

This small drum is called mukoku ngoombu by the Yaka. It was used with a cord around the neck at the end of which was suspended a wood stick. One played of this instrument during a divination ritual called ngoombu weefwa. The instrument announces the presence of the diviner, the nganga, giving the rhythm, but is also used as container to prepare medicines. Posed on the ground, it is also used as stool by the diviner. The face would personify the link with the ancestors' spirits. The closed eyes refer to the interior vision and the dreams of the diviner.

Combining hieratic qualities and symmetry, this mukoku drum can be considered as one of the masterpieces of the Yaka art.

Probably 19th century or earlier.

Origin : Collection Michel Koenig, Brussels

Object #5391

Origin :

D. R. Congo (Kwango River, bordering Angola)

Type :

Ritual items

Ethnic group :


Material :

Wood, aged bright-brownish patina, brass nail

Size :

H = 15.5 inches

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