African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Mbunda Mask

Mbunda Mask (N° 17947)

Worn by the circumcised youth of the Mukanda society at the end of their several-month initation, this mask embodies a male royal ancestor, Sachihongo . In Zambia, masked traditions include a series of specific masks distinguished by their character, behaviour and appearance. Among the Chokwe, Luvale, Lunda, Luchasi and Mbunda of Zambia they are named makishi , (sing. likishi), while in Angola and R.D.C. they are known as makishi (sing. mukishi).
The sculptor will not name the mask and his costume as such, but rather 'the head', and the 'body' to define the masked entity. The dancer, embodying the ancestral spirit, will not be held responsible for his actions during the masked demonstrations. The likishi Sachihongo represents virility, power, prosperity and fertility.
The triple arched eyebrows, or wrinkles, and the limed teeth, form a specificity of the masks mbunda , indicating a threatening character. This specimen is equipped with secondary accessories such as feather crown and beard in vegetable fibers. Thick cracked kaolin patina.  

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Originex-collection Cheminal
Material(s)wood, plumes
Height cm76
Width27 cm
Weight1.76 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle includedYes

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