A Fine African, Democratic Republic of Congo Chokwe Carved Wood Mask

A Fine African, Democratic Republic of Congo Chokwe Carved Wood Mask

1900 to 2000 Democratic Republic of the Congo

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A Fine African, Democratic Republic of Congo Chokwe Carved Wood Mask
Plaited fibre, brass tacks, red glass beads, wood and red ochre
Early 20th Century

Size: 19cm high, 18.5cm wide – 7½ ins high, 7¼ ins wide
Provenance: Ex Private collection of J. Mankowitz
Ex Private London collection
These masks are made by the Chokwe to represent a female ancestor. The Chokwe and related peoples such as the Lwena and Luchazi create over one hundred different types of masked ancestral characters each with different physical and behavioural attributes. They are used to instruct both male and female novices in initiation when segregated and separated from their families in camps. They are also used in theatrical village performances.
The masks finely carved idealised features and subtle contours represent the Chokwe ideals of feminine beauty and was made to convey the elegance and poise of a celebrated female ancestor.
Dimensions
Height 19.00 cm (7.48 inches)
Width 18.50 cm (7.28 inches)
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