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

Chokwe Mwana Pwo Mask (N° 18400)

African masks Chokwe pwo , among the many masks akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) of African tribal art Chokwe, are exclusively female representations that were accompanied by accessories and adornments. Joined by their male counterparts, cihongo recognizable to their large tray-shaped headdresses, the pwo must bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic motifs on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic significance. Always worn by senior-grade insiders, these women's masks were often embed with buttons and accessories of European origin. Pointed teeth were once a criterion for beauty.
These masks were mainly worn during the initiation ceremonies of passage to the adult state, marking among other things the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. A solid basket frame is trimmed with raffia curls forming a realistic hairstyle. It extends to the back of articulated sticks. A crown of curies, symbols of fertility, delimits the forehead. Satiny brown patina with orange highlights. (source: Chokwe, B. Wastiau)  

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Originex-collection allemande
Material(s)wood, cauris, plant fibre
Weight1.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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