Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola.MEDIUM:
Wood, fiber, metal.DIMENSIONS:
22" Tall (55.9 cm) with hair.CONDITION:
Private Estate Collection - California, USA.
This mask, belonging to the Chokwe people of Democratic of Congo and Angola, would have been carved and well as danced by a male dancer even though it represents an ideal woman. It would have been made this to honor women, particularly young, fertile women who had successfully given birth because it is an honor in Chokwe society given to those women. The Chokwe society is also a matrilineal society having the family line passed down through the mother. The other reason behind carving this mask is to recognize the founding female ancestor of the Chokwe lineage.
The dancer would walk in a very slow and graceful way and the mask would be worn with a raffia costume and the dancer would wear wooden breasts too to complete the costume.