Anonymous Master, ‘Makonde Helmet Mask’, ca. 19, Entwistle

This remarkable helmet mask, muti wa lipiko (pl. mapiko - trans. ‘head of the lipiko society’), from the Makonde peoples of northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania is an extraordinary example of sculptural realism, achieved through a reinterpretation of facial features in a visual vocabulary that is, for the Makonde, usually based on angles, planes and creases, producing a unique form in the opus of African art.

Manufacturer: Makonde peoples, northern Mozambique and southern Tanzania

14 February-12 August 1990, New York, The Center for African Art, Likeness and Beyond, Portraits from Africa and the World
16 September-11 November 1990, Fort Worth, TX, Kimbell Art Museum, Likeness and Beyond, Portraits from Africa and the World

Jean Borgatti and Richard Brilliant, Likeness and Beyond: Portraits from Africa and the World, New York, 1990, cat. 130b
Jean Borgatti and Richard Brilliant, ‘Portraiture in Africa’, in: African Arts, vol. XXIII, no.3, 1990, p. 34, fig.1 (described as Yao)

James Willis, San Francisco
Jean Garrett, San Francisco
Private Collection