Makonde people live in the dark forests of Tanzania and Mozambique and some of their population also exists in some parts of Kenya as well. This ethnic group of Africa is specially known for their Makonde art and their carvings of household goods.
Makonde people also create exquisite masks and figures and these creations are like actual heads and portrait-like features. The Makonde people apply real human hair in shaved patterns and amazing facial scarification. These all creations have spiritual and mythical significance particularly related to the religious rites of the Makonde people. In the rituals, the male dancers wear the female masks and also move on the beats of drums.
Makonde art of Tanzania also includes the fascinating wood carvings and sculpturing. During the last five decades, the Makonde art is tremendously developed. The Western artists’ have specially opted the traditional Makonde style in their art creations. This is a wonderful fact that the Makonde people have also carried on their traditional and animistic religious customs although Makonde of Tanzania have also embraced Islam. Similarly, the Makonde people of Mozambique are Catholic or Muslim. In the typical Makonde rituals, when a girl becomes a woman, Muidini (the best dancer of a group) performs the religious dance wearing a helmet mask and a female body mask. Similarly the stools art and game boards creations of the Makonde people also include expressionistic carvings