X2002.33.18 Mask

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Sachihongo (royal male)
Mbunda peoples
Late 19th-20th century
H: 41.0 cm, W: 37.0 cm, D: 17.0 cm (H: 16.1 in, W: 14.6 in, D: 6.7 in)
Museum purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X2002.33.18


Sachihongo, an exclusively Mbunda character, represents a royal male ancestor who has been described as the incarnation of a powerful hunter, a diviner, and a womanizer. Sachihongo is symbolic of maleness, power, fertility, and wealth. The consecutive arched eyebrows, which double as wrinkles on the forehead, are indicative of a serious or even threatening disposition and are characteristic of most Mbunda masks. In this example, they extend downward broadly around the eyes to define the cheeks and form huge eye sockets.