Pwo Mask Analysis

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Female (Pwo) Mask
1) The Female (Pwo) Mask is used in celebrations celebrating the Chokwe people’s women. This Pwo Mask was made in the late 19th to early 201th century and is made of wood, fiber, pigment, and metal. The creators of the mask, the Chokwe peoples, live in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2) The mask represents values that the Chokwe people attach to the rite of passage and womanhood. Such values are introspection and wisdom. The mask conveys introspection and wisdom because the eyes and mouth are closed meaning the female is looking inward, thinking and reflecting. The woman that the mask represents is constructed this way because the women that it celebrates have already obtained wisdom and have no need to look outward for it. 3) The mask allows the wearer, usually a man, to connect to and celebrate womanhood. The type of power the symbolism are
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This artwork was worn as a helmet rather than something that covered the face like a traditional mask would. With it, a raffia would be worn under it that did cover the face. A special thing to note this mask is that it is a masquerade worn by a woman and performed for women. Women in masquerade ritual masks is not typical of most societies. The mask was used as a learning tool in dance to teach girls various lessons. The mask would embody a spirit while being danced but outside of imitation, when not in use, the sprit would vacate the mask.
5)
a. The Sande society places importance on the initiation of young girls and womanhood i.e. their role and place in their future in this case.
b. The mask’s purpose to teach young girls about proper womanhood. While worn in ceremony, the girls learn through observing the mask wearer dancing and taking in the stories, types of dances, proper way to care for their families, and providing for their family like

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