The Chokwe masking tradition presents a myriad of characters; the ghost of the deceased, various spirits or abstract beings that appear from the underworld, and real or mythical animals from the worlds of the forest and water. These masks are either constructed from twigs covered with fibre cloth or bark and then coated with resin and painted, or modelled in wax, or carved from wood.
The female mask "mwana pwo", which is identified with beauty and fertility, and other qualities, and which represents the female ancestor. The mask is worn by a male dancer who commissions the mask from the sculptor, and gives him a copper ring as a symbol of mystical engagement.
The mask has also teaching function: the solemn bearing and elegant gestures of the pwo mask teach the Chokwe women to act in graceful manner.
Provenance: former Belgian collection.
Shipping: DHL / DHL Express
- Indigenous object name
- Mwana Pwo
- Ethnic group/ culture
- Region/ country
- Congo DRC
- Early 21st century
- Good condition, used with some signs of wear
- Sold with stand
- 36×17×20 cm
- 1903 g