About this object

History of use

The Makonde were a matriarchal, agricultural society. Traditionally, it is thought, the sculpture of the Makonde was restricted to ceremonial and ritual goods. Shetani spirits or creatures, now seen in contemporary Makonde sculpture, were probably unknown before the advent of commercial art production in the mid-1950's. Tales of encounters with these rarely seen spirits or creatures were part of Makonde mythology and folklore and may have served as artistic inspiration for the pieces.

Cultural context

Commercial art.

Physical description

Figure with a humanoid figure depicted from the waist down wearing a loin cloth.The legs straddle a human-like head and shoulders, the arms extended up to the smae height as the waist of the main figure. The second figure's hands hold a human-like head, wearing a head covering.