Gallery Bacara

Ancestor Suka Raffia Helmet Mask

$3,000 SGD

Materials: Wood, Metal, Raffia

Circa 1990s.

  • Height: 20 inches
  • Width: 9 inches
  • Depth: 10 inches

This is a fabulous Old Carved Wood Suka Helmet Mask with Raffia from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This mask would be worn during male initiation ceremonies, and are also they represented all departed ancestors. Neighbors of the Yaka, Suku masks are more conservative in their facial treatments. Although styles vary, there is usually a massive collar of raffia. The Suku have an initiation, the n-khanda. A special hut is built in the forest to give shelter to the postulate during their retreat; the event ends in circumcision, an occasion for great masked festivities including dances and song. The masks fulfill several functions: some serve as protection against evil forces, others ensure the fertility of the young initiate. Their role consists in frightening the public, healing the sick, and casting spells. Their appearance must engender terror, especially the kakuungu, with its swollen cheeks, massive features, and protruding chin. These masks are supposedly an image of the community of deceased elders, notably the chiefs of the maternal lineage. They are used to promote success in the hunt, to heal, and to punish criminals. They were also worn by dancers during certain initiation ceremonies. This is a lovely Suka helmet mask and would be a great addition to your collection.


This mask shows age, loss of patina and discolouration, but is in good condition.

Mask on Stand
29" tall

*This item ships from America. 

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