Makonde Belly Mask 17.5″ – Tanzania – African Art



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This “mask” was created in the style of the Makonde people of Tanzania. The piece depicts a pregnant female torso, a common Makonde artform. It measures 17.5 inches tall and weighs 3 pounds. There are cracks on the bottom of the mask and imperfections and general wear and tear throughout – please inspect photos.

Type of Object


Country of Origin





Wood, Pigment, Hair

Approximate Age


Height (Inches)


Width (Inches)


Depth (Inches)


Weight (Pounds)

3 lbs

Overall Condition

Crack on the bottom of mask – imperfections – see photos.

Tribe Information

About the Makonde People

The Makonde people reside throughout Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya. The groups living in Tanzania and Mozambique are divided by the Ruvuma River. Those on the Mozambique side are known as Maconde. The two groups have developed separate languages over time but share certain ideas.
The Makonde are a matrilineal society, meaning inheritances belong to women and typically, the husband will move to the village of his wife. Each village is an individual settlement with their own headman. There is no ruler of all the Makonde peoples.
Due to the remoteness of the Makonde, they did not have contact with the Europeans until the early 1900’s, although there is evidence of involvement with Swahili slave traders for centuries.


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