Art and Initiation Among the Yaka and Suku
by Arthur Bourgeois
Professor Emeritus, Governors State University
The kholuka mask is commonly distinguished by the puppet-like imagery surmounting the mask. Scenes feature sexuality and procreation in both human and animal models or are substituted by items associated with domestic activity. On others, mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles peer toward the facial portion of the mask. Such imagery partakes of motifs sung by the kholuka performer and song leaders in the coming-out festivities. Sexual differences are celebrated and female attributes are ridiculed; allusions are made to non-Yaka ways, external pressures, and deviant behavior.