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Chokwe People

About the Artist

Chokwe Chihongo Mask
SKU: AFM-2207

Wood w/ mineral & organic pigments (10” h. x 7” w. x 5” d.)

Ex. collection of Jonathan Fisher
ex. collection of Ralph Fisher
Purchased from Herbert F. Rieser gallery, London, 11/3/1965.  

Chihongo represents a male spirit and refers to wealth and power. This mask would have only have been worn by a high-ranking member of society or his sons during festivities, especially during the proceedings of the mukanda, or male initiation. Chihongo is a royal character, and the exuberant arched headpiece with feathers that would have originally have been attached to the mask referenced a type worn by high chiefs. The disk-shaped element protruding from the chin recalls the beard worn by chiefs. Symbolizing the male principles of power, social status, accomplishment, and strength, Chihongo complements Mwana Pwo, or Pwewo, the model for female beauty. (Yale University Art Gallery).


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