Old Chokwe Mask – Pwo – DR Congo


Wood. Cm. 25,0 high x cm. 20,0 width (9.84″ x 7.87″). Cm. 37,0 (15.75″) on the stand (included). Grams 430,3 (11.57 oz.)

A Chokwe mask with a wide slightly open mouth with carved teeth beneath a slender curved nose, the lids of the coffee bean eyes pierced, high arched brows, on the forehead the well-known Chokwe symbol, a geometrically three parted hairstyle; a dark brown shiny surface, incl. stand.

Its name – Pwo, “the woman” – is enough to convey the significance of this mask in Chokwe country. As a part of the initiation of young boys, Pwo master embody the…and the guiding spirits.” (Wastiau, Chokwe, 2006, p. 44-45).

The beauty it exalts symbolizes the fundamental role played by women in the matrilineal Chokwe society, inherited from the temporal and spiritual power…and finally a deep brownish-red patina, emphasizing the features’ precision and the sensitivity of the outlines.

In the late 1970s collector and dealer Patrick Dierickx acquired several masterpieces from the same corpus, from old Portuguese families. The pwo mask from the Philippe Guimiot and Domitilla de Grunne collection (Sot heby’s, Paris, 17 June 2009, No.53), and another shown during the exhibition Heroic Africans. Legendary Leaders, Iconic Sculptures, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (LaGamma, 2012, No. 198, p. 220).



Availability: 1 in stock Category: Tag:
View cart

Additional information

Weight2050 g