Wig (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: Beads, fiber
- Place Made: Zambia
- Dates: late 19th or early 20th century
- Dimensions: 13 x 5 1/8 in. (33 x 13 cm) (show scale)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is on view in African Storage Annex, East Gallery, 1st Floor
- Accession Number: 36.553
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Rights Statement: Creative Commons-BY
- Caption: Luvale. Wig (Likishi Dance Costume Accessory), late 19th or early 20th century. Beads, fiber, 13 x 5 1/8 in. (33 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 36.553. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Wig of brown string trimmed with white beads and some blue and green beads worn by dancer. CONDITION: Good
- Record Completeness: Best (89%)