Antique Chokwe Bamboo Mask From Congo and Angola 12x8 in
One million Chokwe (at least 30 different spellings -- all based upon the name these people call themselves, Kocokwe, in plural Tucokwe) have spread out over a wide area in the eastern Angola, southern DRC and Zambia. Their history dated back to the 15th century, when a Lunda queen married a Luba prince Chibinda Ilunga. A significant member of the Lunda aristocracy so disapproved of the marriage that they migrated south to present-day Angola. Once settled, they founded several kingdoms, each headed by a god-king. Around 1860, following a major famine, the Chokwe people migrated back and settled in Angola, at the source of the Kwangi, Kasai and Lungwe rivers. The Chokwe are governed by a king called Mwana Ngana, who distributes hunting and cultivation areas. The male Mugonge and female Ukule societies regulate their social life. They are vigorous and courageous hunters and agriculturists, who used formerly to engage in the slave trade. Their dynamic spirit is also reflected in their art.