Hand Carved Wooden Face Mask Mwana Pwo

2300,00 ex vat 2300,00

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SKU: V1001 Category: Tag:


From Central Africa, specifically from the Chokwe peoples of Angola, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, circa 1920s, comes a remarkable hand-carved wooden face mask known as Mwana Pwo. This mask exhibits a sophisticated design with a striking physiognomy, featuring sunken, heavy eyes under pronounced brows, a slender nose flanked by angular cheekbones, distinct cupped ears, and an open mouth showcasing two rows of serrated teeth. Intriguingly, the face bears incised scarification marks, adding to its allure. The mask’s high forehead is adorned with an ornate, four-lobed cross, symbolising the beauty and maturity of initiated female members within their society. Its dimensions are 15.2 cm width x 18.8  cm height (6 inches in width and 7.4 inches in height) .


The Mwana Pwo mask represents an important cultural symbol, embodying the figure of an archetypal female ancestor. This is particularly significant in Chokwe culture, where maternal lineage plays a central role. The facial scars are not only aesthetically valued but also signify ethnic identity. These masks frequently appear in initiation ceremonies, marking the transition into adulthood. Despite minor chipping on the hair spikes and some surface abrasions, the mask remains largely intact and in excellent condition, boasting a rich patina and well-preserved incised details.

Hand Carved Wooden Face Mask Mwana Pwo is  sold with  a certificate of Authenticity. The provenance can also be provided.