African art > Used objects, pulleys, boxes, loom, awale > Makonde Calabash

Makonde Calabash (N° 24031)

Fruit of the hollowed out and dried calabash tree, surmounted by a sculpted bust evoking a monkey, and whose base is trimmed with a leather fringe.
Abrasions, 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 African face masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that educate young people about the demands of marriage and life family, the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust. 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. Source: "Africa, the Art of a continent" ed. Prestel; "Spoons in african art" L. Homberger.

 

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