Makonde Female ‘Ndimu’ Body Mask, Tanzania.
This original and authentic body mask originates from the Makonde people of southern Tanzania and shows a female body mask, called ‘Ndimu’, which depicts a young, pregnant woman. The dancer uses it to represent a woman’s painful childbirth. The present ‘Ndimu’ body mask is carved in dark brown wood and black coloren on the insite. It shows typical strain characterization marks in relief around the abdomen and well-shaped, pointed breasts. With good use patina and minor age damage (minor cuts and insect damage).
Throughout Africa, only two people have produced these body masks and danced with them: Yoruba in Nigeria (female body masks only) and Makonde in Tanzania and Mozambique (female and male). Among Makonde, male dancers perform with these body masks and matching helmet or face masks during the big ‘Mapiko dance parties’
Age: First half to mid of the 20th century;
Measure: H: 51 cm. , W: 27 cm, D: 17 cm.
Provenience: German privat collection.
Literature: ‘Tanzania’ by Marc. L. Felix & Maria Kecskesi, ill. 273 bis 277; ‘Shangaa. Art of Tanzania’ by Gary van Wyk, ill. fig. 3.1, fig. 3.6