|Title||Mbunda Sachihongo Mask Angola African Art|
|Type of Object||Face Mask|
|Country of Origin||Zambia or Angola|
|Approximate Age||Mid 20th Century|
|Dimensions||Height: 12.75 Inches
Width: 8.5 Inches
|Overall Condition||Fair .Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
Additional Information: This wooden mask with the large highly emphasized inflated cheeks with multiple eyebrows comes from the Mbunda people of present day western Zambia close by the border with Angola. The large concave eye sockets with their slit 'coffee bean' eyes are dramatically placed on the mask that shares certain style elements with the Chokwe and other neighbors. The mask is a play upon geometrical forms of the eye orbits, nose, open mouth and sharply angled cheeks.
Face masks such as this represented the Mbunda culture hero and spirit Sachihongo (or Samahongo), a power figure, a hunter and diviner and brings wealth. As an ancestor he is treated like a chief who has supernatural powers who can see and envision the future. Masks from the Mbunda are relatively few in number and not well known they share style and symbol with their Chokwe neighbors. This is a finely carved mask and a good example of Mbunda mask making used during the ceremonies of boys' initiation and circumcision rites.
See Manuel Jordan et al., Chokwe! for similar examples