Mane of Hair (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: Hair
- Place Made: Zambia
- Dates: early 20th century
- Dimensions: 7 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. (18.1 x 13 cm)
- Collections:Arts of Africa
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 36.554
- Credit Line: Museum Collection Fund
- Caption: Luvale. Mane of Hair (Likishi Dance Costume Accessory), early 20th century. Hair, 7 1/8 x 5 1/8 in. (18.1 x 13 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 36.554. Creative Commons-BY
- Catalogue Description: Mane of black and white hair worn by dancer. (see 36.548) CONDITION: Good
- Record Completeness: Meh (36%)