Pwo beauty mask - Chokwe - Angola

Pwo beauty mask - Chokwe - Angola
Mid 20th century - Vintage - used with visible signs of wear

Height: 17.5 cm.
Provenance: private A. S. collection, Portugal (great amateur of objects from Angola).

Found among the Chokwe in Angola, these feminine masks (Pwo meaning “woman” - that is, an adult woman who has given birth; and Mwana Pwo meaning “young woman” - a young and feminine beauty) are used to pay tribute to female ancestors, considered as responsible for the fertility of the community.

Worn by men of the community, masks are used in masquerade celebrations (they are danced with their male counterparts, the Chihongo/Cihongo), to bring fertility, peace, wealth and well-being to the village. The man wearing the mask completes his masquerade outfit with wooden breasts and an agitation allowing the dancer to move with delicacy and grace, imitating a woman (young girls learn manners and grace by watching performances).

Note: Masks with few scarification details are used to represent the young Mwana Pwo.

A mask of similar quality belong to the RMCA, see Trésors d'Afrique - Museum of Tervuren, p.125.

Shipment within 24 working hours.
Track & trace included.
With acknowledgment of receipt.

Tags: mask, figurine, sculpture, figure, statuette, wood, art, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, USA, Dogon, contemporary, first, primitive, tribal, African, antiquity, artwork, gallery, Picasso, Giacometti, art gallery, African art, cubism.

Lot details
Pwo beauty mask
Region/ country
Mid 20th century
Vintage - used with visible signs of wear
Sold with stand
17×0×0 cm
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