Makonde Body Mask, Tanzania
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Description of Significance:
This is an exquisite traditional body mask, originating from the Makonde culture in Tanzania. This particular mask represents a pregnant woman and was traditionally used in initiation ceremonies. It's an integral part of a "ndimu" mask dancer's costume, known as "amwalin-dembo." Skillfully carved from wood, it features pronounced breasts and a distended stomach, intricately decorated with MaKonde scarification bars, emblematic of tribal identity and aesthetics. Accompanied by a corresponding female face mask, this body mask is traditionally worn by a male dancer, who performs a captivating dance embodying the pains of childbirth.
- Handcrafted for religious use in Tanzania.
- Width: 11"
- Height: 23"
- Paint and stain
- There is a wire on the back for easy wall hanging.
About Antique African Art:
Hemingway Gallery regards antique African art as the best artistic expression of aesthetic beauty and storytelling throughout the known history of art. Aside from artistic taste, African art accrues value in different ways than other genres, including use in ceremonial settings as well as age. 50 years can be regarded as old or antique when it comes to wood masks and totems. Hemingway Gallery provides both authoritative insight and context into each artifact in the collection, possessing and readily exhibiting direct, intimate knowledge of the source and pedigree. The goal is to preserve and curate one-of-a-kind artifacts of importance while creating a platform for the acquisition of spectacular unique pieces within financial reach.
Hemingway Gallery ethically sources all the fine art in our collection. Our pricing correlates directly to the asking prices of artists, artisans and art dealers in the various African countries we collect from and the costs of importing the artwork to the U.S. We need to change the idea that artists should be paid pennies for their fine art just because it comes from Africa. Paying a fair price in Africa is our number one priority and our pricing reflects that.
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