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'Nyauyolemba', body covering [Reproduction]
H0168241
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Chosen and explained by Kenji YOSHIDA "Joining a Secret Masked Association, “Nyau”. I was finally allowed by the Chewa people to join their secret masked association, “Nyau” on May 25, 1985. It was more than a year after I had first begun to live in the village. The main role is to dance at funeral rites. In 2005, the Chewa people’s masked dancing was registered as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, together with Japan’s Kabuki and others. I am watching with a sense of trepidation what impact this registration might have on their traditions.

History of the Object
The number of Christians in Chewa society has sharply increased since around 1990, nevertheless the secret masked associations continued to be active.

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Type
Performance Art 
Materials
wood flame, corn bract 
Measurements
Width 47 cm. Height 203 cm. Length 200 cm.  
Creator name
Chewa 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Zambia 
Geography
Zambia 
Time period
AD 20th century ~ AD 20th century 
Creation date
20th Century; 1990 
Function
mask for ceremonial dance 
Acquisition
This was reproduced in Japan by using the techniques Kenji YOSHIDA mastered through his initiation rites in the local community, then donated to Minpaku in 1990. 
Copyright
 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
National Museum of Ethnology, Japan (Minpaku) 
Museum
National Museum of Ethnology 
Credit line
 

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