African art > Mask > Chokwe Mask
Chokwe Ngulu Zoomorphic Mask (N° 13118)
The Tschokwe, in African art, have a male association, the mukanda , which makes use of about thirty African masks, made of wood, for various social purposes and related to ancestors: the mask cikugu, the cihongo , the mask pwo, kalelwa, cikunza, but also this type of animal mask, the ngulu , which was worn on a basketry base. It was also accompanied by coloured cotton fabrics and various small objects. The obscene behaviour that accompanied his exhibition contrasted with the other masked dances. A ribbed pattern perpendicularly crosses the object, from the groin to the end of the skull. Narrow eyeballs with perforated pupils are placed obliquely, while pointed ears animate the surface. A polychrome brush was used on the surface. The Bantu-grown Tschokwe had settled in eastern Angola, but also in Congo and Zambia. Following various alliances, they fell in love with the Lunda, who taught them hunting. Their social organization also rubbed off on the Tschokwe society. However, the Tschokwe eventually dominated the Lunda, whose kingdom was dismantled at the end of the 19th century. The elephants of the region were hunted for meat, but also for ivory, which was intended for sale and not for the wide range of prestigious objects for which they excelled. The Tschokwe also played an extensive part in the slave trade, selling criminals and prisoners. Colonization then contributed to their migration to Congo-Kinshasa and Zambia.Sources: "Chokwe", 5continents, B.Wastiau and "L' African Art", Mazenod.
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