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Makonde Njorowe Belly Mask Pregnancy African Art

Product #: 114294
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Title Makonde Njorowe Belly Mask Pregnancy African Art
Type of Object Mask
Country of Origin Mozambique, Tanzania
People Makonde
Materials Wood, pigment, raffia rope, cotton fabric
Approximate Age mid 20th century
Dimensions Height: 18.5 Inches
Width: 10 Inches
Depth: 7 Inches
Overall Condition fair to good
Damage/Repair chipped rim, scrapes and small cavities

Additional Information: This so-called pregnant belly mask comes from the Makonde people. Women play an important role in Makonde mythology and art. The legend is that a man carved a figure of a woman, fell asleep, and awoke to find that the statue had come to life. She gave him many children, and later became a venerated ancestress. The Makonde have an ancestress cult. Female body masks, depicting a torso with breasts, pregnant belly, and sometimes scarification patterns, promoted fertility.This female body mask was part of the costume of a special ndimu masker called amwalindembo presenting a young pregnant woman. The mask was worn by a man and his performances emphasize the difficult of childbirth. For more information, see Kerchache's ART OF AFRICA.