Africa

Chokwe Pwo mask from Central Africa

Q: I can’t find anything like this to see an approximate value! I got it from an estate sale of a serious collector who was needing his home cleared so he could move. I have dozens of mask/pieces that I’m trying to identify right now, so any help with this one would be greatly appreciated. Kelli, 1669

A: You have a charming mask with marvelous hair and carefully woven natural cloth. On a stand it would be especially decorative. I would call it a collectible reproduction that should be quite affordable. But I won’t reject the possibility of it being an authentic artifact. You might want to consider having an expert look at it.

The Chokwe people are a large ethnic group that can be found in the DRC, Angola and Zambia. They make many different masks that are so popular with tourists and collectors that they are also produced in other places. Mwana Pwos can be worn on the forehead and used in initiation ceremonies. B-

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