Peoples & Societies


Two hundred thousand Yombe peoples live in the mountainous forests and savannahs of western Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their society is based on a matrilineal line of inherited power and ruled by male chiefs. The Yombe subsist by farming, hunting, and raising animals. The Yombe create animal masks for ceremonial traditions related to their agricultural and herding pursuits. Perhaps best known for their "power figures," which hold ritual medicines and are embellished with mirror and nails, the Yombe also forge iron, carve wooden masks, and weave raffia.

Excerpt from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 305.

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