African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Tschokwe Statue
Chokwe Cihongo, Chihongo Statue (N° 17587)
Among the many African akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) masks of African Chokwe tribal art, the powerful male counterpart of the Mwana Pwo mask is the cihongo . Here it is a royal-blooded dancer, masked with the cihongo and dressed in his costume. The chihongo embodying a spirit symbolizes power and wealth. He also intervened, sometimes, on the occasion of judgments.
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Satin patina, dessication crack.
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, promote fertility, or parody strangers.
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