African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Tschokwe mask
Chokwe animal mask (N° 20573)
The Tschokwe, in African art, have a male association, the mukanda, which makes use of some thirty African masks , made of wood, related to ancestors, for various social purposes: the cikugu mask, the cihongo, the pwo mask, kalelwa, cikunza, but also this type of animal mask, of which there are variants, which was worn on a basketry base. Colored cotton cloth and various small objects were also attached to it.
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Red brown satin patina.
The Tschokwe, of Bantu culture, had established themselves in the east of Angola, but also in Congo and Zambia. Following various alliances, they mixed with the Lunda who taught them hunting. Their social organization also influenced the Tschokwe society. The Tschokwe eventually dominated the Lunda, whose kingdom was dismantled at the end of the 19th century.
Elephants in the region were hunted for meat, but also for ivory, which was intended for sale, not for the wide range of prestige items for which they excelled. The Tschokwe were also heavily involved in the slave trade, selling criminals and prisoners. Colonization later contributed to their migration to Congo-Kinshasa and Zambia.
Sources: "Chokwe", 5continents, B.Wastiau and "Chokwe and their bantu neighbors"(ill. 065); "Masks characters of Zambia" Jordan.
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