Called ‘Pwo’, these masks represent important Makishi (dead spirits) in mukanda (initiation) ceremonies for boys passing into the realms of manhood.
The “pwo” is conceived as the ideal woman. Graceful beautiful and gentle yet assertive. Although the pwo represent women, dances are performed by men under the watchful eye of the tribal women. If the women feel they are not being “honored” in the performance by a dancer they may “chase” him away.