This Pwevo mask measures 12 inches tall not including the plant fiber netting which hangs from the face or the stand by 12 inches wide. This African mask was collected from Zambia, Africa and was made by the Mbunda people (not to be confused with the Mbundu tribe). The Mbunda are closely related to the Chokwe people who are an ethnic group of Central Africa whose ancestry can possibly be traced to Mbundu and Mbuti Pygmies. This Chokwe Pwevo helmet mask is worn covering the entire head and is part of an elaborate full body dance costume that is made of netted plant fiber that usually includes wooden breasts. Although Pwevo represents a female ancestor whom many consider the mother of the Chokwe and related peoples, who is a female role model, the Pwevo masks and costumes are always created, worn and danced by men.The dance imitates the graceful movements of a woman and it imparts fertility to all present. This museum worthy piece is very old and is carved from a very lightweight soft wood called dugale which can no longer be found in Africa after the drought of 1962 which attests to this mask's age. This antique Chokwe piece is a highly stylized carved wood mask with an elaborate braided, dread like coiffure, a dark patina with many layers which includes some reddish brown pigment, scarification represented by holes descending from the forehead to nose and a trio of short parallel dotted scarification lines called mupila adorn the outer side of each eye with three additional deep scars under the eyes one to the top of one eye's brow and beautiful matching scarification designs on the forehead and checks and a dotted cross on the chin. A fiber netting extension is attached to the bottom of the mask to cover the dancer's neck area which does have some slight damage to it. This collectible authentic piece of African art comes with a custom handmade black metal stand which was designed just for this item and displays this mask handsomely.
This mask is in great rustic tribally made and used condition but does have some wear which is to be expected. The plant fiber netting attached to the bottom of the mask does have three worn holes in the netting. There is some assorted wear to the wood of the mask including dings and worn areas. The braided plant fiber hair is attached to a handmade plant fiber piece of cloth which is attached to the top of the wooden mask and forms the top of the head.
This fiber has a small hole in it. I would suggest padding the metal display stand more then it currently is on the tips, I believe fabric would be best for protecting the mask from further damage to the plant fiber head piece. Be sure to add me to your favorites list. The item "Antique Chokwe Mbunda Tribal Pwo Pwevo Initiation Wood Helmet Mask Zambia Africa" is in sale since Sunday, April 2, 2017.
This item is in the category "Antiques\Ethnographic\African\Masks". The seller is "mountainamma" and is located in Williams, Oregon. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada.