- Museum number
Human face-shaped mask (chadzunda) for Nyau masquerade made of wood covered with black resinous ? substance, over which is applied shiny black paint ?. Depicts mature male; eyebrows, moustache and beard made of synthetic fur fabric, eyes and teeth are cut from card and applied to inside of mask. Deeply furrowed forehead, crowsfeet and bald patch on top of head. Hair at temples and covering at back of head made from skin with fur attached, this is sewn to plastic raffia sacking and attached to mask. Sections of floral cotton cloth sewn together are attached to bottom of mask. Fibre drawstring runs through lower edge of sacking. Cotton ? thread suspended across opening, has one green and two blue plastic beads, together with two small rectangular wooden beads. Danced as a pair with no.10 in collection.
- Production date
Height: 89 centimetres
Width: 28.50 centimetres
Depth: 22.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
For depictions of Nyau masks in Malawi rock art see:
Chadzunda, a black carved wooden mask represents a village Chief, and is expected to be a portrait, an actual physiognomic likeness of a Chief.
As a leader of the people he represents power in his role as Chief, lineage in the matrilineal succession of the chieftaincy, and unity in keeping the village together as a whole, as one group of related peoples living together. However, his power is not absolute, nor as strong as the neighbouring Ngoni chief, whose rule is firmer. In comparison to Ngoni and other patrilineal society chiefs, Chadzuna reflects a poor chief of little or no account.
Chadzunda is depicted as an old man with deeply carved furrows on his forehead. As a mask form, Chadzunda assumes a senior role of aged wisdom, but at the same time an ageing chief who is likely to be succeeded at any time. Within the social role of this mask there lies an ambiguity, that of a powerful and coveted position of authority and the realisation that the Chew chief is thin, lean and of little authority compared to the war-like strength of their Ngoni neighbours and once-enemies (de Aguilar, 1996:85)
See Collection File Af,1993.09. Collection made by the vendor during periods of fieldwork in Malawi (1985-6,1988,1990 and 1992). Nyau is a men's semi-secret masked association whose major function is to perform masquerades at funerary ceremonies. Previously owned by Chief Makunje. Vendor states mask was danced with mask no.10 in collection for more than a decade. Mask carved by Mr.Dazi before 1982.
In set with Af1993,09.10
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number