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

Lwena Mask (N° 25596)

This African mask with fine features, displaying the conventional signs in relief, was worn during the closing ceremonies of the Mukanda initiation. It was supposed to promote hunting, fertility, and harvests. Brown, matte relief patina. Erosions and losses.

Of Lunda origin, the Lwena (or even Lovale, or Luvale) emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, pushed back by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, others, the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia and near the Zambezi in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena became known for their honey-colored sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation rites of mukanda. This mask is engraved with circular patterns associated with ethnic scarifications. These details differentiate it from Tschokwe productions despite the relative similarity of their masks.  

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OriginEx-collection belge
EthnyLwena, Luena
Countryangola
Material(s)wood, textile
Height cm30
Width20 cm
Weight0.85 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°
Socle inclusOptional

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