Late 19th-20th century
Wood, hair, cordage, beads
H: 34.0 cm, W: 31.0 cm, D: 15.0 cm (H: 13.4 in, W: 12.2 in, D: 5.9 in)
Museum purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X2002.33.3
The prominent cross-within-a-circle motifs that appear on this mask represent a scarification mark known as chijingo. Symbolically, chijingo represents the four cardinal points of the compass and the journey of the sun from sunrise (life) to sunset (death) and back. This type of scarification can still be observed on the faces of some adult women in areas of Zambia, although it is rarely acquired today. Up until the mid-twentieth century, however, full body scarification was common as an indication of social status and a reflection of increased knowledge obtained through successive adult initiations.