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    Description

    Chokwe (Democratic Republic of Congo/ Angola)
    Pwo (Phwó) Mask
    Wood, pigment, fiber
    Height: of mask: 7 ½ inches Width: of mask: 7 inches

    A large number of mask types are used in Chokwe mukanda initiations for boys. "In their initiation camps, boys and girls (who have parallel mwali initiations) are taught specialized knowledge by their parents, grandparents, and guardians. The principles of social responsibility transmitted to the new generation include cosmology, history, religion, morality, sexuality, and a variety of gender-specific skills" (Manuel Jordán, ed. Chokwe! Art and Initiation Among Chokwe and Related Peoples. Munich, London, New York: Prestel, 1998, p.93). The pwo mask represents a female ancestor, and is intended to impart the accomplishments of highly respected females in the Chokwe community. The elaborate headdress of this elegant yet powerful pwo mask shows the complex mud-packed wig formerly favored by Chokwe women. The symbol on the forehead is known in Cholwe as kalunga. It is a part of an ancient Chokwe symbol system called "sona or lusona - 'signs, writing'" (Robert Farris Thompson in Robert Farris Thompson and Joseph Cornet. The Four Moments of the Sun: Kongo Art in Two Worlds. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1981. The Kalunga mask is a sign of the cosmos and for God. The overall condition if this mask is very good.

    Provenance: Bob Fitzgerald Jones
    Kirsten Grosz, Indianapolis.
    Exhibited: Indianapolis Institute of Art, 8 March 1992 to 14 March 1993



    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    7th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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