Makonde Mask Helmet, Africa, Early 20th century

Makonde Mask Helmet - Ref 05512

Tanzania, Africa, Early 20th century

Woman's face with a lip plug 

Carved wood

Width : 11.4"(29cm),  Depth : 12.8"(32.5cm), Height: 8.3" (21cm)

The Makonda belong to the Bantu people

They live in southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique

The most famous Makonde masks are helmet masks, called Lipico, which are used to mark a boy's initiation into adulthood

They also used masks with female faces such as this one

In addition to the lip plug, the young woman represented wears earrings

Her hairstyle represents three large braids which are sculpted by hand

Brought from Africa to France in the 1920s, this helm mask shows traces of use

It is not a modern product for tourists. It has been worn

Which places it at the beginning of the 20th century at least

The pigments darkening the skin (not the hairstyle) have faded. Some small gaps on some protruding parts

A shock to the top of the skull, apparently due to a pointed weapon, generated star-shaped cracks. This impact is not running through

Finally, a shock carried above the right ear caused a crack which was sealed on the spot with the means at hand so that it could continue to serve

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