African art > African statues : tribal fetish, maternity > Makonde Figure
Makonde Figure (N° 22725)
Sculpted with sensitivity, this naturalistic figure is devoid of integumentary ornaments. The facial features have been carefully modeled, imprinting the labial deformation due to the traditional labret.
Beautiful oiled patina encrusted with red pigments.
The Makonde, a matrilineal Bantu people of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania, wore helmet masks called lipiko, mapiko, during initiation ceremonies for young people . The Makonde worship an ancestor, which explains the abundance of relatively naturalistic female statuary. In addition to face masks, midimu, the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust, exalting fertility.
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