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. Most Chokwe objects are decorated with figures and geometric motifs. Following contact with European traders in the 18th century, 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
27cm high, 16cm wide, 23cm deep
Material
Wood, pigment and vegetal fibres