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Ancestor Mask, 20th century
East Africa, Malawi, Chewa people

Donated by C. F. Webb, 1963
Museum number 1963-339

This ancestor mask was made for those initiated to the Nyau society and worn during initiations, funerals and other important ceremonies. The incised scarification marks on the mask reflect those of Malawi women and are associated with womanhood and beauty. Today, scarification is rarely seen on young women.

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