Pwo mask, Chokwe, Angola
The collection of twenty-four handmade artifacts represents tradition pieces of tribal life south of the Sahara in West, Central, and East Africa. All pieces are made of wood, though the Mahongwe reliquary has brass sheets and wires wrapped over a wooden core. The age of each piece is uncertain, however the lifespan of wood in village life suggest an age span of between forty to one hundred years.
The masks, shrine figures, ancestor posts, and the reliquaries perform roles unique to their tribe and country. As a broad generalization, all of these pieces serve their community’s welfare: either to initiate the young, to promote fertility and health, to increase the harvest, or, to redress social or political wrongs. In short, these artifacts are prayers addressed to the ancestors and the spirits of nature, who properly honored can act as intercessors between the spiritual world and that of the living,
Each item in the Collection is identified by its function, tribe, and country of orign.
Regis University Archives and Special Collections is located on the fourth floor of Regis University Library. The collections do not circulate and may be accessed only in the Reading Room.
The Reading Room is open on Tuesdays from 10:00am- 12:00pm and Thursdays from 1:00pm – 3:00pm.
Drop ins are welcome during these hours, however patrons are strongly encouraged to book an appointment with the archivist ahead of time. Patrons that have not set an appointment are not guaranteed consultation with the archivist at time of arrival.
During academic interims and other University closures the reading room will be closed. Please contact Archives and Special Collections at 303.964.3612 or email email@example.com with any questions.