|Title||Makonde Pregnant Belly Mask Njorowe African Art|
|Type of Object||Mask|
|Country of Origin||Mozambique, Tanzania|
|Approximate Age||20th century|
|Overall Condition||Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
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.