Bianca Mikahn

Pwo Mask

Pwo, or young women, masks are created by the Chokwe to represent their female ancestors depicted as beautiful young women. Throughout the mask, the carver would include elements like scarification, filled teeth, and perfect symmetry; with each individual mask most likely influenced by an actual female member. In the middle of the forehead a triangle tattoo is displayed. This tattoo, cingelyengelye, is a design from an amulet that was commonly worn as a necklace. Although this is a female mask, Pwo masks are worn and danced by men during festivals for entertainment.


Benin / Togo – 7%
Mali – 11%
Cameroon / Congo – 11%
Nigeria – 7%
Africa Central Hunter Gather – 1%
Scandinavia – 9%
Great Britain – 1%
Ireland – 20%
European Jewish – 1%
European West – 26%
Italy / Greece – 1%
Finland / Northwest Russia – 1%