Wood, fine patina and excellent surface, vegetal fibbers, finely carved, scarification marks on the forehead and face. The name of this mask means "woman" or Mwana Pwo “young woman”. It represents the ideal of feminine beauty and it is inspired in an ancestor. The mask also symbolizes the importance of the woman in the Chokwe tribe but most importantly it is a bond with the spiritual world of their ancestors. The sunken eye sockets and gaunt face are characteristics of this type of mask. It is danced at the end of the initiation ceremonies (mukanda). Its facial scarifications are believed to impart fertility to the spectators during its performance.
H: 26, 6 cm (10 ½ inch).
Bourgeois, Arthur and Rodolitz, S. (2003) Remnants of Ritual: Selections from The Gelbard Collection of African Art.
Bacquart, Jean-Baptiste (2010) The Tribal Arts of Africa.
De Areia, Rodrigues e Laranjeira, Manuel (2003) Chokwe and their Bantu Neighbours.
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Regional & Ethnic Antiques