In the Southwestern Congo, the Suku tribe honors ancestors and elders when they die, with a ceremony held in a forest’s clearing. Here, gifts and offerings are brought, but outsiders and all women are forbidden to attend.
The people practice matrilineal culture. They speak a Bantu language called kiyaka, derived from the Niger-Congo dialects. The women’s work involves farming and collecting berries, nuts, and roots while the men are left with hunting and are reserved for the chiefdom.
When an elder dies, he is buried with a ceremony held in the clearing of a forest. Bambuta is the name of this sacred ceremony. The forest opening that is cleared is called the yipheesolu. Women can’t grieve elders, gifts and offerings are brought, but outsiders and all women are forbidden to attend.
According to History orally passed to generations, the Suku and their neighboring tribe, Yaka, invaded the Kongo Kingdom. This invasion happened in the 16th century. In the 19th century, it gained some independence after the Luanda-Chokwe Empire collapsed.
The people crafts various sculptures from woods that depict magical figures, religion, and everyday life. The people also craft complicated masks that are used for initiation.