Makonde breast plate

aaaMystrySolvd-870Q:  Not so much a mask, but I thought it may be of interest.  What do you think?  Andrew, 870

A:  Many mask collectors consider this to be a kind of mask. It is usually worn by a man who has a carved wood helmet mask over his entire head. I would call it a pectoral mask of a pregnant female torso with enlarged nipples and a herniated umbilicus. Also note the abdominal tattoos that have been slightly highlighted with the same dark stain as the nipples and navel. I don’t think this masquerade of a pregnant woman is used that often in Mozambique by the Makonde people during their Mapiko celebrations, but thousands are made for sale to tourists who love them as artful conversation pieces. I think yours might be authentic, so please try to get an expert to check it out. You might be in for a pleasant surprise.  A?

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