African art > Mask > Chokwe Mask
Small Tschokwe Ngulu mask (N° 17645)
The 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 agents of a social, moral and spiritual nature, forming a panel of different characters, sociable, aggressive, or unpredictable, embody indeed 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 from the eyes of the lay. Their accessories and behaviour, depending on the case, symbolize moral values, highlight fertility, or parody strangers. This reduced version of the ngulu mask, 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. Crack under the mouth.
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