Combs such as these are worn by high-ranking Yaka men. Status and prestige are reflected in the carved figures' elaborate coiffures and headdresses. Characteristic of Yaka combs are the three tapering teeth, incised geometric design and mask-like heads, which recall the masks worn by high-ranking men as well as those worn in initiation ceremonies for boys.

A Yaka mask that would be worn by a circumcised youth to protect him during his transition into manhood. The upturned nose, geometric designs, domed headdress and bared teeth are all echoed in the present pair of combs.