Lot: 360

Male ancestor spirit mask "chihongo"

Angola, Chokwe

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Portuguese Collection H: 9.4 inch 5000 EUR / 8000 EUR

wood, colour pigments, metal, coin (portuguese/ 1892), base "Chihongo literally means "spirit of wealth" and accordingly they are used to symbolise wealth and power. The masqueraders wearing the mask pay homage to male ancestors believed to be responsible for the prosperity and strength of the community. Traditionally used to represent the male chief ancestor "chihongo", the masks were once only reserved for use by chieftaincy during royal events such as the initiation of a new chief. "Chihongo's" counterpart is "pwo", which embodies a female ancestral spirit. Their common appearance during masquerade celebrations is to bring fertility, peace, wealth and well-being to the village.