Mwana Pwo beautiful female mask - Chokwe Lwena - Angola - SOLD

Found amongst the Chokwe of Angola, these feminine masks (Pwo meaning ‘woman’ - an adult woman that has given birth and Mwana Pwo meaning ‘young woman’ - youthful, feminine beauty) are used to pay homage to female ancestors believed to be responsible for the fertility of the community. Worn by men of the community, the masks are used during masquerade celebrations (danced together with the male counterpart, Chihongo / Cihongo) to bring fertility, peace, wealth and wellbeing to the village. The man that wears the mask completes his masquerade ensemble with wooden breasts and a bustle allowing the dancer to move delicately and gracefully, emulating a woman (young girls learn manners and grace by watching performances).

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Data sheet

Presumed dating
1st half XXth century
25 x 19 cm
Ethnic group
Chokwe / Tchokwe / Tschokwe
Tribal art collection Belgium