Africa, Zambia / Angola / Democratic Republic of the Congo area, Lunda / Chokwe, ca. early 20th century CE. A Makishi Chisaluke mask comprised of burlap, vegetal fibers, branches, and decorations made of red fabric and white paper strips. The abstract visage presents expressive features and beautifully modeled contours, and represents a deity descending from the ancestral realm to connect the present day generation with their forbearers, and is danced at the end of male initiation ceremonies. Custom stand. Size: 9.75" W x 17.5" H (24.8 cm x 44.4 cm); 23" H (58.4 cm) on stand
The Makishi masquerade is the final performance of the mukanda, an annual initiation ceremony for young boys between the ages of eight and twelve. This special ritual is celebrated by the Vaka Chiyama Cha Mukwamayi communities, including the Chokwe, Luvale, Luchazi and Mbunda, cultures that live in the northwestern and western provinces of Zambia. At the beginning of the dry season, the boys depart from their homes and live for several months in an isolated wilderness camp - this isolation representing their symbolic end as children. The mukanda tests their courage and provides valuable lessons fo their future roles as men, fathers, and husbands. Each initiate plays a particular masked character throughout the entire process. The Chisaluke type featured here represents a mighty, powerful and very wealthy man with great spiritual presence and influence.
Provenance: Ex-Private Boulder, CO collection acquired at Indochine Gallery
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