African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chokwe Mask
Chokwe Mask (N° 23714)
Belgian African art collection.
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Always worn by initiates of higher rank, this type of African mask embodying a female ancestor forms an unusual version here thanks to its split features.
Woven braids make up an abundant hairstyle. Satin black patina.
Chocolate satin patina. Minor abrasions.
African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or the woman Pwo and appear nowadays during festive ceremonies.
The pwo are believed to bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic patterns present on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the Chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity.
The recurring cruciform frontal motif would also carry a cosmogonic significance.
(source: Chokwe, B. Wastiau)
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|Country||rdc ex zaire|
|Estimated dating||circa 1960|
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