Democratic Republic of the Congo
Yaka or Nkanu peoples
Wood, paint, raffi
H: 61 cm, Diam: 33 cm (H: 24.0 in, Diam: 12.9 in)
Fowler Museum at UCLA. The Jerome L. Joss Collection. X87.1414
The kambaandzia tsiinda is typical of the charm-posts of the Yaka and Nkanu, which feature a carved head and an elevated miter-like headpiece that comes forward and then bends back half way up the coiffure. The head and coiffure are painted in the manner of dance masks of n-khanda and nzo longo initiations of manhood. The raffia fiber ruff designates the object as having ritual power, demarcates a zone of seclusion, and likely alludes to the loose fiber loin covering worn by initiates. Charm-posts are positioned along the mseya, the path leading to the initiation camp, and in proximity to the initiation shelter. Special ingredients are buried beneath the posts to protect the initiates from witches and others who might harm them. Among the Yaka, kambaandzia tsiinda are also found in hunting charm series within a fenced enclosure (ypanga) and are occasionally placed inside the dwelling of a person being treated for infertility.
Source: Ross, Doran H. ed. (1994): “Visions of Africa”, Los Angeles, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. page 117