Always finely sculpted, the African mask equipped with a voluminous braided headdress supported by a basket structure, and a woven raffia hood, illustrates the beauty of the young Tschokwe women. The hairstyle is reminiscent of the red earth-like hairstyle of the women of the clan. Red brown patina, red ochre pigments on the headdress. African masks Chokwe pwo among the many masks akishi or "akixi" (sing: mukishi , indicating power, are exclusively female representations that were accompanied by accessories and adornments. They were, however, carried by high-ranking men. Joined to their male counterparts, cihongo recognizable by their large plateau-shaped headdress, the pwo must bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic patterns on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the aesthetic canons chokwe , like the cut-out teeth, but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic meaning. These masks were mainly worn during the initiation ceremonies of passage to the adult state, marking among other things the end of the privileged bond between a son and his mother. The checkered scarifications on the cheeks, here of discreet crosses, refer to the mother's grief. Peacefully settled in eastern Angola until the 16th century, the Chokwé were then subjected to the Lunda empire from which they inherited a new hierarchical system and the sanctity of power. Nevertheless, the Chokwes never fully embraced these new social and political contributions. Three centuries later, they eventually seized the capital of Lunda weakened by internal conflicts, thus contributing to the dismantling of the kingdom. The Chokwé did not have centralized power but great chiefdoms. They were the ones who attracted artists who wanted to put their know-how at the exclusive service of the court. The artists created so many varied and quality pieces that the Lunda court employed only them.
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