Lot: 322

95th Tribal Art Auction

Female mask with labret, before 1914

Tanzania, Lindi or Rovuma Districts, Makonde / Mwera

Provenance Size Starting price / estimated price
Old German Colonial Collection H: 9.1 inch 3000 EUR
plus 23 % commission, VAT, transport and insurance

wood, pigments, old collection label "Frauenmaske (Makonde) DOA", base A work by the same artist was auctioned at Zemanek-Münster on 22 September 2007 (cf. AHDRC 0086531). According to Weule (1909) masks of the Makonde represent ghosts ("midimu"). This mask is identified as female type by the lip peg "pelele". The masks generally appeared at the end of circumcision rites, when the young boys and girls returned from the bush camps. The masquerades fulfilled ritual as well as educational functions.

Jahn, Jens (Hg.), Tanzania, München 1994, p.434 ff.