African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Luvale mask

Lunda Makishi mask (N° 20658)

Mask having benefited from an indigenous restoration thanks to wicker rods. The textile shows a braided headdress, which is worn on a basketry frame. Smooth patina, satin finish, light golden brown. Height on base: 39 cm. Of Lunda origin, the Lwena emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, driven out by the Chokwe. When some became slave traders, other groups found refuge in Zambia, forming the Luvale , Lovale . Their society is matrilineal, exogamous, and polygamous. The Lwena and the Luvale became known for their sculptures embodying figures of ancestors and deceased chiefs, and their masks related to the initiation rites of the mukanda, a secret male association shared by all these groups in this same territory, albeit with some variations . Their sculpture was largely influenced by that of the Chokwe. The masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are called "makishi" (sing. likishi) in Zambia. This name comes from "kishi", a Bantu concept that evokes the manifestation of a spirit or ancestor. These agents of social, moral and spiritual order, forming a panel of different characteristics, sociable, aggressive, or unpredictable, embody the spirit of an illustrious ancestor (male or female), their appearance is mainly manifested during the rites of mukanda, including circumcision, during which their true identity must remain hidden from the eyes of the layman. Their accessories and behavior, depending on the case, symbolize moral values, emphasize fertility, or parody strangers. Crusty patina with red ochre highlights. Misses on the contours.  

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Originex-collection allemande
Material(s)wood, textile, vannerie
Height cm26
Depth17 cm
Width22 cm
Weight1.05 Kg
Socle includedYes

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