Luvale/Lovale Makishi Mwana Pwevo mask, Zambia
ex Walking Man Gallery
ex Kaba Collection
originally collected in Zambia before 1960
This mask was in the exhibition "Collectors Collect - Works from Denver Private Collections", 2006/2007.
Mask portion measures 10 inches tall (the net is about 12 inches).
The stand shown in the photos is not included with the mask.
This example conforms to a defined Lwena style. The consecutive arched beaded elements above the forehead
resemble the crowns worn by male and female chiefs. This version of a mature and accomplished woman would
have been created to honor a female chief or a woman in a royal lineage.
Bastin explains that a Lwena style of carving (related to that of the Chokwe) is distinguished by the "gentleness of its lines," a tendency toward
naturalism, and a taste for round and full forms. Lwena Pwo masks sometimes incorporate tall, rounded coiffures.
Within a large repertoire of mask character types, Pwo (Pwevo in Zambia)—the "woman" or female ancestor—and Mwana Pwo (Mwana Pwevo in
Zambia; —"the young woman"—actually perform a crucial role in transmitting culturally relevant information,mainly in the context of the mukanda
male initiation. The "woman" and "young woman" masks represent ideal and comparable models for a "fulfilled" versus a "potential" woman.