41: Two Carved And Painted Chokwe Initiation Masks
TWO CARVED AND PAINTED CHOKWE INITIATION MASKS
Southwestern Zaire or northeastern Angola, 20th Century
Each face-and-head mask carved from one piece of wood and painted black; with checkered coiffure, slit eyes, sharp filed teeth, and tribal scarification marks on the forehead and cheeks; one with a two-link metal ear ornament; each with additional braided and knotted raffia hair and a twined raffia covering for the neck and back of head; the mask represents a female ancestor (mwana pwo), worn by male performers during boys' initiation rituals (mukanda), the men wearing raffia knitted garments covering their bodies.
Largest: 11 ˝ x 9 x 10 ˝ inches.