X2002.33.9 Mask

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Pwevo or Nalindele (woman)
Luvale peoples
Late 19th-20th century
H: 22.6 cm, W: 17.5 cm, D: 7.6 cm (H: 8.9 in, W: 6.9 in, D: 2.9 in)
Museum purchase with funds provided by Jay T. Last. X2002.33.9


Masks of this shape with slightly protruding chins and rather delicate facial features are readily identified by western Zambian Luvale as Nalindele, which seems to be a regional name for Pwevo (the woman). It has been suggested that this name derives from the word chindele, meaning ”white person.” If this is the case, local ideals of female beauty may have merged with an appreciation for the appearance of some foreign women. This is particularly interesting when considered in conjunction with less-flattering views of the outsider or foreigner represented by other masks.