Female (pwo) Mask

Female (pwo) mask, Chokwe peoples, Democratic Republic of Congo, early 20th century, wood, plant fiber, pigment, copper alloy, 39.1 cm high (Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington D.C.)

This mask was made and worn by men, but its purpose is to honor women who have bravely survived childbirth.

Additional resource

“Masquerade”, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art

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Cite this page as: Dr. Peri Klemm and Dr. Beth Harris, "Female (pwo) Mask," in Smarthistory, August 9, 2015, accessed February 3, 2023, https://smarthistory.org/female-pwo-mask/.