African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Chokwe figure
Figure of Chihongo Tschokwe dancer (N° 21163)
Ex-collection African art from Belgium.
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Among the many African masks akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) of African Chokwe tribal art, the powerful male counterpart to the Mwana Pwo mask is the cihongo . Here it is a figuration of a royal-blooded dancer, masked with the chihongo and dressed in his costume. The chihongo embodying a spirit symbolizes power and wealth. In addition, he sometimes intervened during judgments.
Dark glossy patina.
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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