Tribal art > African mask > Makonde mask
Makonde mask (N° 20651)
Striking realism for this African mask Makonde embodying an ancestral spirit. The ancestors would come back masked to mark their satisfaction following the initiation. The mouth is represented with a labret. The incised patterns refer to the traditional tattoos and scarifications of the Makonde.
Maroon patina. Abrasions.
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The Makonde of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania wore helmet masks called lipiko during initiation ceremonies for young men. The Makonde worship an ancestor , which explains the abundance of naturalistic female statuary. In addition to the facial masks worn during mapiko dances and ngoma ceremonies that instruct youth about the requirements of marriage and family life. the Makonde also produce body masks featuring the female bust.
(Art and Life in Africa, C.D. Roy)
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