African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Makonde dolls
Couple of Makonde dolls (N° 20754)
Prolific African art of the Makonde
Doll statuettes with realistic faces and sketchy stylized bodies, featuring traditional tattoos, which were traced with beeswax. The scarified patterns were also printed for aesthetic purposes. The female ancestor refers to the creation in which the first Makonde man is said to have carved a female image that became the mother of his children and has been venerated ever since. Glossy patina, burgundy brown.
The Makonde, a matrilineal Bantu population of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania, wore helmet-masks called lipiko, mapiko, during initiation ceremonies for young men. The Makonde venerate an ancestor , which explains the abundance of relatively naturalistic female statuary. In addition to facial masks, midimu , the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust, exalting fertility.
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