African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Chokwe mask

Chokwe mask (N° 22502)

Reduced in size, this mask illustrates a type of African chokwe mask, among the many akishi or "akixi" masks (sing: mukishi, indicating power), which accompanied by accessories and ornaments. They were worn by high-ranking men.
Together with their male counterparts, cihongo recognizable by their tray-shaped headdress, the pwo must 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 and also served as public markers of ethnic identity. The cruciform frontal motif, replaced here by a band in slight relief decorated with striated motifs, would also have a cosmogonic significance. These masks were mainly worn during initiation ceremonies of transition to adulthood, the mukanda, marking among other things the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. The checkerboard scarifications on the cheeks refer to the mother's grief.
Glossy dark patina. Crack.
Height on base: 35 cm.

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This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

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OriginRécolté in-situ 1999
Height cm25
Width13 cm
Weight0.57 Kg
Socle includedYes

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