Pair of Rattles (Likishi Dance Costume Accessory)
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: Seed pods, fiber
- Place Made: Zambia
- Dates: late 19th or early 20th century
- Dimensions: 5 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (14.9 x 8.9 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in South Gallery, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 36.551a-b
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Luvale. Pair of Rattles (Likishi Dance Costume Accessory), late 19th or early 20th century. Seed pods, fiber, 5 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (14.9 x 8.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 36.551a-b. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Pair of rattles consisting of many small brown seed pods attached to strings. Some rattles broken. Worn by dancer as part of Pwo dance costume.
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)