African art > Mask > Tshokwe Mask
Small Chokwe Ngulu Mask (N° 18526)
This reduced version of the ngulu mask, here with horns, worn by a professional dancer moving from village to village, appeared during the dances akishi a ku hangana . It is coated in red ochre like many Chokwe masks. A raffia adornment remains attached to the contours. Height on a base: 42 cm.
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The African masks of the Chokwe, Luda, Luvale/Lwena, Luchazi and Mbunda clans are named in Zambia as 'makishi' or mukishi (sing. likishi). This name comes from 'kishi', a Bantu concept that evokes the manifestation of a spirit or ancestor. These social, moral and spiritual agents, forming a panel of different characters, sociable, aggressive, or unpredictable, embody the spirit of an illustrious ancestor (male or female), their appearance manifested mainly during the rites of the mukanda, including circumcision, during which their true identity must remain hidden in the eyes of the lay. Their accessories and behaviour, depending on the case, symbolize moral values, highlight fertility, or parody strangers.
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