Refined Chokwe mask from DR Congo with beautiful patina and in good condition with traces of wear and tear.
The Chokwe who spread from their homeland of Angola throughout the southern region of the DRC, have influenced the art of many neighboring peoples, including the Lunda, Mbunda, Mbangani and some others. The Chokwe use three types of masks. These are the sacred masks, initiation masks and dance masks. The last group includes a female mask, or pwo, and her male counterpart, or cihongo, who symbolizes power. The male mask differs from the female in terms of its broad mouth and horizontally protruding beard. The Pwo mask symbolizes the ideal mother and woman. It has facial scarifications and is believed to spread fertility wherever it is presented.