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X70.924 Mask


Object Name: Mask
Utenu (angry ancestor)
Cultural Group: Luvale peoples
Place of Origin: Zambia
Date: Late 19th-20th century
Materials Used: Wood, bark cloth, fabric, paper, hair, resin
Dimensions: H: 55.9 cm (H: 22.0 in)
Credit line and Accession Number: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Joel Breman. X70.924

Gallery wall text, Fowler in Focus: Makishi, 2007

Utenu has an anthropomorphic face with a flat, keel-shaped headdress decorated with patterns. This character falls within the category of aggressive masks whose main function is to protect the initiation camp and novices. Utenu is extremely aggressive in demeanor, chasing people, casting insults, and making rude utterances. The mask is known to run and crash against bushes or shrubs, demonstrating its uncontrollable rage. Such behavioral tendencies are meant to be intimidating but also serve to contrast with the social, friendly, and well-mannered demeanor of characters such as Pwevo.

SKU: X70.924 Category:

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