Male Face Mask (Chihongo)

A work made of wood, raffia, burlap, turaco feathers, guinea fowl feathers, and pigment.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of wood, raffia, burlap, turaco feathers, guinea fowl feathers, and pigment.

Date:

Mid–/late 19th century

Artist:

Chokwe
Angola or Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa

About this artwork

The Chokwe use masquerades to engage with their ancestors, encouraging them to guide, protect, and educate the living. Chihongo is the male equivalent of the female mwana pwo mask on view nearby. The male mask’s feathered headdress, red coloring, scarification patterns, stylized beard, and filed teeth evoke wisdom, leadership, and status. While both mask characters partake in performances during male initiation rites, chihongo appears at other events where a chief’s affirmation is desired.

On View

Arts of Africa, Gallery 137

Artist

Chokwe

Title

Male Face Mask (Chihongo)

Origin

Angola

Date

1850–1900

Medium

Wood, raffia, burlap, turaco feathers, guinea fowl feathers, and pigment

Dimensions

73.7 × 48.3 cm (29 × 19 in.)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of Mrs. James W. Alsdorf

Reference Number

2003.174

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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