African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Makonde mask
Makonde mask (N° 22630)
African mask Makonde embodying an ancestral spirit, depicting a face whose lip bears a labret.
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The ancestors would return masked in order to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. The relief patterns refer to traditional Makonde tattoos and scarifications.
Smooth, velvety, golden beige patina. Desication cracks, slight losses.
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 face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that educate young people about the demands of marriage and family life. the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust.
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