No.02 Makonde Mapiko Mask

No.02 Makonde Mapiko Mask

Carved Wood

Origin: Southern Africa (Mozambique region)

Significant interpretation of the work:

This mask is called a mapiko or lipiko mask, which in the language of the Makonde people, means “helmet mask.” The lipiko mask, often referred to as the mapiko mask shows the depiction of a Makonde woman.

The Makonde have a matrilineal social structure (meaning that their ancestry is traced through the female line). This social structure is like this because of the influence of their creation story which states that the first woman was carved out of wood by the first man on earth and when he placed the carving into the sun, she came alive. The woman then gave birth to the first child, known as the first Makonde. Despite pressures to convert religiously and adjust economically to the capitalist market the Makonde maintain their fidelity to their ancestrally based spirituality. This is why the female figure remains such an important figure in their society and art.

This mask is still used today in the ancient initiation ritual, which marks the entrance of young boys and girls into new stages of their lives where they are taught the skills of adulthood, traditional songs, dances, costumes, and cultural secrets.

This specific mask depicts a detailed Makonde head carved with high skills.  It has a peaceful expression.

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Origin: Southern Africa (Mozambique region)

Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 87 × 25 × 33 cm
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