African art > African Shield > Chokwe shield

Tschokwe shield (N° 20634)

Prestigious shield decorated with geometric patterns and the pwo mask carved in high relief. Its presence is supposed to be beneficial for its holder.
African Chokwe pwo masks, among the many akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African tribal Chokwe art, embody an ideal of beauty, Mwana Pwo, or female Pwo, and appear today during festive ceremonies. Joined with their male counterparts, chihongo recognizable by their large, tray-shaped headdress, the pwo are meant to bring fertility and prosperity to the community. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the sixteenth century, the Chokwe were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sacredness of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwe never fully adopted these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, the Chokwe eventually took over the Lunda capital, which had been weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwe did not have a centralized power but rather large chiefdoms. It was these chieftainships that attracted artists who wished to put their skills at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied pieces of such quality that the Lunda court employed only them. Within Tchokwe society, hunting and farming lands were dispensed by the king mwana ngana.  

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OriginEx-collection portugaise
EthnyChokwe
Countryangola
Material(s)wood, metal
Height90
Width43
Weight3.50 Kg
Estimated datingmid-xx°

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