Peoples & Societies


The Chokwe peoples have lived as hunters, farmers, and pastoralists between the Kwango and Kasai rivers in northeastern Angola for nearly 400 years. By the 20th century, they expanded their territory into the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo and the northwestern part of Zambia. During the 18th and 19th centuries in particular, luxurious art was produced for the courts of chiefs. Figures, stools, thrones, and ceremonial objects were carved out of wood, especially for the leadership. Although artistic production declined during the 20th century in the wake of famine, war, and disease, Chokwe cultural traditions have persevered.

Adapted from

Roslyn A. Walker, The Arts of Africa at the Dallas Museum of Art (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009), 300-301.

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