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Mask (mwana pwo)

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This female mask, called mwana pwo, was identified with beauty, fertility, and other qualities. Softly modeled with an open mouth, slit eyes in oval sockets, and delicate scarification, the mask's male dancer would have worn a costume of a skirt, feathers, and false breasts. The mask is...

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Said to have belonged to Mr. Quintin (possibly Jean Quintin of Portugal), a Belgian territorial agent. October 22, 1986, sold by Marc Leo Felix (dealer), Brussels, to William and Bertha Teel, Marblehead, MA; 1996, gift of William and Bertha Teel to the MFA. (Accession Date: December 18, 1996)

Credit Line

Gift of William E. and Bertha L. Teel

African, Chokwe peoples, Angola, 19th–early 20th century


19.05 cm (7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Wood, fiber, metal, and pigment


Africa and Oceania