H: 62 inches
Material: Wood, Brass
The Makonde ethnic groups occupy the southeast of Tanzania and the northeast of Mozambique. They number about 550,000, and consist of different clans, spread over several villages. Besides masks and other objects, they carve house posts like this type. For the Makonde peoples communication between the living and the dead is vital to the maintenance of life. This anthropomorphic post, shown here, is the custody of lineage; which is placed in front of the family's house and is dedicated to ancestors. The house post has two distinct characters; in the front is a protruding round hole, suggesting a horn blown on special occasions to communicate with ancestors. The other character displays a female breast. It is assumed that it represents the Makonde mythological symbol of fertility, or a female ancestor of a family expected veneration from her decendants. This powerful figure, with large deeply outlined eyes attentive, wide open mouth, with very large tongue showing. Inlaid with brass tacks beneath the chin, with detailed scarifications all around the figure. The whole piece is hollow from bottom, and stands at 62 inches high. This piece will have a spectacular presence in every home or office.