African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Makonde mask
Makonde mask (N° 22162)
The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young people. The Makonde venerate an ancestor, which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. Besides the African face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that educate young people about the demands of marriage and life As a family, the Makonde also produce body masks depicting the female bust, such as this example carved in light wood and endowed with a velvety patina. Abrasions and losses.
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Height on base: 45 cm.
Young Makonde boys and girls must submit to a period of seclusion of about six months, during which they are taught songs, dances and practical activities. The rules of behavior in adulthood, sexual life and the obligations of marriage are discussed. This initiation ended with festive ceremonies featuring male midimu (sing. ndimu) dancers. The latter, wearing a female mask paired with a costume whose ensemble is called amwalindembo, mimicked the suffering accompanying childbirth.
Source: "Africa, the Art of a continent" ed. Prestel
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