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Lot n° 33

Lwena Luena crest mask, Angola This African mask...

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Lwena Luena crest mask, Angola This African mask featuring the face of a young woman wearing a hemispherical headdress was worn at the top of the head during the closing ceremonies of the Mukanda initiation. It was believed to promote hunting, fertility and harvests. Slight damage and desiccation crack. Abraded matte patina, crusty residue. 24 x 18 cm Sold without base Of Lunda origin, the Lwena (or Lovale ,or Luvale ) emigrated from Angola to Zaire in the 19th century, driven out by the Chokwe. Some became slave traders, while others, like the Lovale, found refuge in Zambia and along the Zambezi River in Angola. Their society is matrilineal, exogamous and polygamous. The Lwena are renowned for their honey-colored sculptures, embodying figures of deceased ancestors and chiefs, and their masks linked to the initiation rites of the mukanda. This mask is engraved with circular motifs associated with ethnic scarification. These details distinguish it from Tschokwe products, despite the relative similarity of their masks.