Tribe of the Week: Chokwe People

December 15, 2017 By

An all new Chokwe tribe page is up, be sure to learn more about them here.

The Chokwe are a large group of people in Africa as their population is estimated to be around 1.3 million people. The live in parts of Angola, DRC and Zambia. Chokwe government is usually headed by Mwana Ngana, a king, with female and male societies regulating all aspects of life for Chokwe people.

Many of Discover African Art art pieces that are made by the Chokwe are referred to as Pwo masks. The Chokwe worship their ancestors, especially female ancestors. Pwo means woman, while Mwana Pwo means young woman. These masks are danced in tandem with their male counterpart, Cihongo, during initiation ceremonies. The two masks embody ideal beauty and are meant to evoke fertility and prosperity to the tribe. Often Pwo masks depict designs on the face, these represent scarification marks that symbolize the glory and sadness a mother feels when her son completes the initiation process and becomes an adult.

Check out our Chowke Pinterest board here.

And shop all of our Chokwe art pieces here.

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