African art > African mask, tribal art, primitive art > Masque Makonde

Masque ventral Makonde Ndimu (N° 14210)

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 a naturalistic female statuary. In addition to the face masks worn during mapikodances and ngoma ceremonies which educate young people about the demands of marriage and family life, the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the bust such as this copy from the Mercier collection.
Young Makonde boys and girls must undergo a prison war of about six months, during which they are taught songs, dances and practical activities. The rules of adult life, sex life and the obligations of marriage are discussed. This initiation ended with festive ceremonies featuring male dancers midimu (sing. ndimu). The latter, wearing a female mask with a costume named amwalindembo , mimicned the suffering accompanying the birth.
The dark, embossed patterns, adorning the uneven surface of this mask, evoke traditional beeswax tattoos. Mate velvety patina, grainy residue.
Source: "Africa, the Art of a continent" ed. Prestel

 

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OriginEx. collection Mercier
EthnyMakonde
CountryMozambique
Material(s)wood
Height42
Width18
Weight2.89 Kg
Estimated datingmid xxe
Socle includedYes

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