Creator: Artist Unknown, African, Chokwe Peoples Angola
Date Created: 1885/1895
Location: Angola, Africa
Physical Dimensions: w28.6 x h30.1 x d17 mm (work with base)
Label Copy: This Mwana Pwo mask represents an original ancestor and the embodiment of feminine ideals in Chokwe masquerades. All Mwana Pwo masks share formal similarities, such as almond-shaped eyes, an open mouth, and a delicate chin, expressing a notion of timeless beauty. Some features, however, are less fixed: the hairstyle, scarification patterns, and chingelyengelye cross motif seen here all speak to the carver's personal and more contemporary conception of beauty. The mask provides a timeless framework to which fashions are affixed, discarded, and changed, perhaps one day to be regarded as timeless themselves.