Africa

Lipiko mask from East Africa

I love these big helmet masks. It’s a 10-inch-high Lipiko of the Makonde people from Tanzania or Mozambique. It would be kept  in a small hut behind the village elder’s home and shown at feasts or during initiation ceremonies. Represents a person of importance to the village for one reason or another– flattering or otherwise. They are well known for their facial scarifications and lip-plugs. The hair is real, probably from a barber shop. Still popular in culture, you can easily find them, often at a reasonable price. This one is an especially nice example that was recently sold at Sothebys. Please blow up the photo and tell me how those scars were made.  A+

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