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Lipiko Mask

Arts of Africa

Lipiko masks are used by the Makonde at boys’ and girls’ initiation ceremonies to represent spirits. The masks are noteworthy for their realism, each depicting details of a particular facial type and hairstyle. Lipiko masks are often caricatures representing members of neighboring groups, religious leaders, and colonial officials.
CULTURE Makonde
MEDIUM Wood, human hair, fiber, pigment
  • Place Made: Cabo Delgado Province
  • DATES 19th century
    DIMENSIONS 13 x 10 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (33 x 26 x 28.6 cm)  (show scale)
    COLLECTIONS Arts of Africa
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    ACCESSION NUMBER 22.1588
    CREDIT LINE Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Makonde. Lipiko Mask, 19th century. Wood, human hair, fiber, pigment, 13 x 10 1/4 x 11 1/4 in. (33 x 26 x 28.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1922, Robert B. Woodward Memorial Fund, 22.1588. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 22.1588_front_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE front, 22.1588_front_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Wooden mask, helmet type of heroic size. Soft wood colored a brick-red shade. Human hair (probably) fixed to the top head, beard attached to chin. Protruding lips, flattened nose, rounded forehead. Ears carved into fan-like shapes.
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