Makonde Tree of Life Sculpture 03

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Details

Material: Indigenous African Wood
Size (LxBxH): 4.5 x 3 x 11 inches
Origin: Tanzania

Description

Makonde art is an indigenous art form of the Makonde people, an ethnic tribe residing in southeast Tanzania and northern Mozambique. While their ancient tradition of creating intricate carvings is believed to predate the 1700s, some of the methods and materials they used changed after the 1930s, when Makonde art became an important part of contemporary African art.
One of the most famous types of Makonde sculptures is the 'Tree of Life' sculpture. Its origin dates back to the 1950's. The early sculptures done in this style typically showed a winner of a wrestling match, carried shoulder high by a cluster of figures. Today, the Tree of Life sculptures usually depict several interlocking human figures, as a symbol of unity and continuity. In some versions, a lady will be seen at the very top of the cluster of figures. The Tree of Life sculptures are also known as Dimoongo or Ujamaa sculptures. This sculpture from Tanzania is most likely from the 1970s and makes for a worthy collectible.

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