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The 80,000 Suku inhabit the Southwest of the DRC. Their main economic resources are farming and hunt. In Suku society, boys' coming-of-age preparation is the responsibility of the Nkanda association. In the seclusion of lodges located outside the village, boys between the ages of ten and fifteen years are taught the history and traditions of their people and undergo obligatory circumcision. They also learn the songs and dances that will be performed at their initiation ceremonies. Several different masks are used in theNkanda graduation ceremonies. Kakungu is the largest of the initiation masks. The mask appears on the day of circumcision and again when the young man leaves the lodges to return to the village. Kakungu masks instill in the young men obedience and respect for their elders. These masks are also protective, threatening anyone suspected of harboring evil intentions against the initiates. They are also called upon for the treatment of impotence and sterility. The kakungu mask has assertive and impressive form, with a large forehead and bulging cheeks. When not in use, they are displayed in shrines.
Provenance Raskin Collection
This mask was featured in the book "Страсти старьевщика. Рассказы коллекционеров"
"Passions of an Antiquarian". Chapter "Many Faces of Masks in the Raskin Collection" by Vera Raskin. Published in Ekaterinburg, Russia 2016