Tribal art > African mask > Tschokwe Mask
Chokwe mwana Pwo mask (N° 16859)
African masks Chokwe pwo , among the many masks akishi (sing: mukishi, indicating power) of African tribal art Chokwe, are exclusively female representations that were accompanied by accessories and adornments. Joined by their male counterparts, cihongo recognizable to their large tray-shaped headdresses, the pwo must bring fertility and prosperity to the community. The characteristic motifs on the forehead, and sometimes on the cheekbones, are part of the chokwe aesthetic canons but also served as public markers of ethnic identity. This recurrent cruciform frontal pattern would also have a cosmogonic significance.
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Always worn by senior-grade insiders, these women's masks were often embalmed with buttons and accessories of European origin. Pointed teeth were once a criterion for beauty.
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 refer to the mother's grief. A wicker frame, concealed by the numerous strings depicting the braids forms a dense headdress. (source: Chokwe, B. Wastiau)
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|Material(s)||wood, plant fibre, metal|
|Estimated dating||1ère halfxx°|
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