Art and Initiation Among the Yaka and Suku
by Arthur Bourgeois
Professor Emeritus, Governors State University
A circular or oval relief line surrounds the upper portion of the face and closes as it touches the nostrils. Framing the face is a projecting wooden decoration that minimally appears as a visor, more fully as a bonnet-like oval, or completely encloses the face in a circle or square frame. The mask's coiffure is a fabricated dome or cone-shaped construction made of woven raffia or cotton cloth stretched over an armature and painted. Varieties of the head-piece include a central spire supporting horizontal disks that are flanked by antenna-like projections; a single or a series of squared or rounded projections; or one to three crests running from front to back of the head.