lwenasample.JPG (16384 bytes)

Old Pwevo mask. Wood painted red. Dark patina from handling. Museo Do Dundo. Lwena (Cavungo, Nya- katolo chiefdom). Height: 32 cm.

Lwena (Luena)

The Lwena is an ethnic group living in Angola and Zambia. They speak a Bantu language  belonging to the Chokwe - Lunda language group. They live to the east of the Chokwe and have certain shared culture with them. Their  languages resemble one another. The name of the group is taken from that of the river Luena. In the north-western district of Zambia they are known as the Lovale. Their wars with the Ndembu, a southern Lunda group, brought them as far as the right bank of the Zambezi river. Because of connections with the Chokwe their arts are easily confused, particularly in the upper Zambezi river district where these two groups are neighbours. Lwena art is recognised by the gentleness of its lines and forms.
The Lwena is a tribe living by means of  the fish trade with their neighbours in a region where the land is almost completely flooded  from  time to  time during rainy season. Their principal  industry, the drying of  the fish starts after the end  of rainy season. Hunting plays a very important role as well in the life of the Lwena people. The Lwena are also good cattle raisers as well as a good farmers.
The history of the Lwena began with the arrival of Tshibinda Ilunga  ("The Great  Hunter"). He married the  chieftainess Lueji, heiress to the post of command in territory around Lunda. Some of  the relatives of  her   brother went  to exile and  settled on  the other side of   the Luena river. Ndumba and Kanyika were two of them who went further to the west and established the Chokwe tribe.

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lwenasample2.JPG (15331 bytes)

Pwevo mask of  female ancestor. The hemp hairdo, innovation from the 1930's is held by two iron combs. Wood  lightly covered with red. Patina  from  handling.  Museo Do Dundo. Lwena (Lumbala). Height: 27 cm.




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