Masks

Chokwe Mask

Chokwe Mask

Country of origin
Angola
Description
The Chokwe are the largest ethnic group on the Angolan and Zambian borders of central Africa. The vast majority of Chokwe objects are decorated with figures and geometric motifs. Since they were in contact with European tradesmen from the 18th century onwards, some of their figures bear a European influence. Masks made by the Chokwe are called Akisi. This is a fine example of a dance mask and represents the female (Mwana-pwo) version of ancestral spirits. The Mwana spirit helps preserve the sculptural traditions of the tribe and represents the spirits of female ancestors and beautiful maidens, in particular a female ancestor who died at a young age. The elaborate tattoo patterns on the forehead, cheeks and chin, reflect Chokwe ideals of beauty and the practice of scarification.
Dimensions & Weight
37cm high, 24cm wide, 20cm deep
Material
Wood, pigment and vegetal fibres