Example 115: African mask

Work Record
Class [controlled]: • sculpture • costume • African art
*Work Type [link]: • mask (costume)
*Title: Face Mask Title Type: repository
Title: Pwo Mask Title Type: alternate
*Creator Display: unknown Chokwe
*Role [link]: artist [link]: unknown Chokwe
*Creation Date: early 20th century [controlled]: • Earliest: 1900 • Latest: 1933
*Subject [links]: • religion and mythology • apparel • human figure • face • ceremonial object
Culture [link]: • Chokwe
*Current Location [link]: National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution (Washington, District of Columbia, United States) • ID: 85-15-20
Discovery Location [link]: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Creation Location [link]: Angola
*Measurements: 39.1 x 21.3 x 23.5 cm (15 3/8 x 8 3/8 x 9 ¼ inches)
[controlled]: • Value: 39.1 Unit: cm Type: height | Value: 21.3 Unit: cm Type: width | Value: 23.5 Unit: cm Type: depth
*Materials and Techniques: wood, raffia, metal, and kaolin
Material [links]: • wood • plant fiber • copper alloy • pigment
Description: Collected in Democratic Republic of the Congo; probably from Angola. In Chokwe villages masks are worn by men in dances to invoke ancestral spirits, to represent spirits found in nature, or to represent men and women or wild animals in a narrative story. The original Chokwe name (pwo) referred to an adult woman who had given birth. The more recent name, mwana pwo, probably adopted under European influence, emphasizes youthful, feminine beauty.
Description Source [link]: National Museum of African Art online. www.nmafa.si.edu (accessed 06 July 2007)

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