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Mask

African Art

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Mask

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Chokwe Artist, Angola

Date

Twentieth century

Medium

Wood, fiber, metal, and pigment

Accession #

2002.294

Dimensions

10 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

In Chokwe communities of the southern savannah region of central Africa, ancestral spirits known as makishi return to this world as animate beings to instruct the living. During the initiations of young men, makishi take the form of masks to transmit knowledge from generation to generation. Today ancestral spirit masks perform not only at initiations but also at political rallies, during national elections, and even outside prisons to give hope and spiritual support to inmates.

Credit

Fred and Rita Richman Collection