A Better Future Through Art

The history

The Makondes belong to the Bantu ethnic group and live in East Africa (Northeastern Mozambique and Southern Tanzania). In the twentieth century a small group also migrated to Kenya. They have a matriarchal societal organization. Their art is easily recognizable in the traditional Mapiko masks and wood carving of a single block of ebony or light wood sculptures.

Each sculpture is characterized by its uniqueness and its narrative value. Fundamentally there are three types:

  • Shetani, figures that are neither human nor animal. Often powers are ascribed to them and with time have become abstract in appearance.
  • Ujama, groups of individuals, often female, represented in their daily activities.
  • Mawingo, forms inspired by clouds.