Chokwe Mwana Pwo Mask Congo
This mask comes from the Chokwe. It belongs to the famous category known as Mwana pwo and had performed during the ceremonies of circumcision and initiation of Young boys. The headdress attached to the mask is well preserved. The face shows typical Chokwe scarification patterns and expression.
The Mwana Pwo Chokwe mask is a traditional wooden mask made by the Chokwe people of Central and Southern Africa, particularly in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Zambia. The mask represents a young woman, with distinctive scarification marks on her forehead and cheeks, and is used in initiation ceremonies for young girls.
The Mwana Pwo Chokwe mask is considered a symbol of beauty, fertility, and wisdom. It is worn by dancers during the mukanda initiation ceremony, which marks the transition of young girls into adulthood. During the ceremony, the mask is danced by a male performer, who embodies the spirit of the young woman depicted in the mask. The dance is accompanied by music and singing, and the performance is intended to teach the initiates about their roles and responsibilities as women in Chokwe society.
The mask is typically carved from wood, and is decorated with intricate patterns and designs. The scarification marks on the forehead and cheeks are a distinctive feature of the mask, and are believed to represent beauty and social status. The Mwana Pwo Chokwe mask is also sometimes adorned with cowrie shells, beads, and other decorative elements.
Today, the Mwana Pwo Chokwe mask continues to play an important role in Chokwe culture, and is also appreciated by collectors and art enthusiasts around the world.
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Approximate Age: 20th Century