Chokwe: African art sculptors in Angola

The Chokwe or Tschokwe live in a vast area spread between Angola, the D.R. Congo and Zambia. Their origins date back to a group that broke away from the Lunda Empire in the 17th century, and to the mythical ancestor and cultural hero Chibinda Ilunga who is one of the main subjects in Chokwe statuary.

In Chokwe tribal art, we also know the masks worn during the initiation ceremony of young Mukanda boys and in particular the famous mask of a beautiful mwana pwo woman who instilled grace and propriety in young girls. Its male counterpart, the chihongo mask is linked to the chieftaincy and was most often used during royal ceremonies.

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