Makonde Lipiko Helmet Mask 10″ From Tanzania, African Art
Makonde Lipiko Helmet Mask 10″ – Tanzania – African Art.
The Makonde people inhabit the bordering region of Tanzania and Mozambique. They are a matrilineal society divided into clans governed by a chief and council. The Makonde are known as some of the most expert mask carvers in Africa, with two kinds of masks prevalent in their society.
This mask, known as a lipiko, is a helmet mask used primarily for the mapiko dance held at adult initiation rituals for boys and girls and at funerals. The masquerader channels the spirit of dead ancestors through the mask. During initiation, boys and girls are both taught how to make the masks and perform them. Women perform their initiation away from the males, who never see the masquerade.
This mask came from the Mozambique region of Makonde territory and was danced in the 1960s or 1970s.
The mask is 10 inches by 11 inches.