After seven years of intense initiation, the men of
the dyo association perform at a great masked
festival, dancing in front of the nyeleni statues.
These female figures are distinctive for their
prominent breasts and squared shoulders. This
sculpture is basically simple in form and boldly
expressive. The body and legs are Y-shaped,
with the feet slightly extended. The arms hang to
the hips, bent at the elbows and close to the
narrow, tubular-shaped waist. Most striking is
the extraordinary face, with its bulbous
forehead, long nose and absence of a mouth.
Attached to the back is a unique headdress
formed by two half triangles surmounted by a
crest. A triangular shape of thick striated lines on
the back of the head suggests braided hair.
There is something "monumental" in this figure,
presenting a unique model of dignity, strength