Likishi Dance Costume Leggings
This complete dance costume shows how masks are normally one part of a larger ensemble. The mask is sewn directly onto the costume of looped bark and fiber, which fits tightly over the body of the dancer. Seedpod rattles and metal bells added a musical aspect to the performance.
Although they are danced by Luvale men, mwana pwevo masks depict women. In order to own and perform with a mask, a man had to symbolically marry it by paying the carver a copper ring as a bride price. In so doing, the dancer made a commitment to honor and care for the spirit represented by the mask. In return, the dancer was able to earn his livelihood performing at local festivals.
- Culture: Luvale
- Medium: Bark, rope
- Place Made: Zambia
- Dates: late 19th or early 20th century
- Dimensions: 41 x 25 1/4 in. (104.1 x 64.1 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 36.549
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Luvale. Likishi Dance Costume Leggings, late 19th or early 20th century. Bark, rope, 41 x 25 1/4 in. (104.1 x 64.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 36.549. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Brown and tan bark rope trousers worn by dancer as part of a Pwo dance costume. See 36.548 Condition: Worn.
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)