Tchokwe Mwana Pwo young woman mask


The Mwana pwo (young woman) masks, are danced by Chokwe men in festivals mainly for entertainment, confer were accumulated fertility to the spectators. The masks represent female ancestors represented as beautiful young women, with a high forehead, balanced features, filed teeth and scarification. The marks of scarification, which can reproduce those of the real woman whose beauty inspired by the sculptor, applies the cingelyengelye drawing on the forehead. This cruciform design was probably derived from pewter pendants sold in the Chokwe region by Portuguese travelers as early as the 17th century.

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
21 x 12 cm (without headdress)
Ethnic group
Chokwe / Tchokwe / Tschokwe
Wood, rope
Tribal art collection Belgium

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