Peoples & Societies


The Kanyok are agricultural peoples who live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, along the eastern side of the Luba kingdom with which they were associated politically. The population amounts to about ninety thousand, and they produce a variety of artworks including decorated prestige items and narrative sculptures. Sculptors carved wooden stools, water pipes, staffs, and ritual containers for the king and other titleholders. Older Kanyok art forms were very angular, but their carvings have evolved to be more rounded and portraitlike in appearance.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 302.

Web Resources

  • Smart History
    Read an overview of the peoples and cultures in Africa.