Ebony sculptures by Makonde artists
The Makonde are one of the five main ethnic groups in Tanzania. They live relatively isolated on the Makonde Plateau, which is still difficult to access today. As a result, they were less affected by colonial development.
Isolated from and resistant to outside influences, the Makonde, who are exceptional artisans (woodcarvers), developed a high degree of ethnic self-confidence. The best-known Makonde artists moved to Dar es Salaam from the 1950s, from where their carvings received international recognition in the following decades and have since been represented in important collections: in Germany, e.g. B. in the Aurnhammer Collection and the Hamburg Mawingu Collection. One of the internationally most important contemporary Makonde artists is George Lilanga, who has developed his own distinctive style. Many important Makonde carvers of the "first hour" who shaped the image of the so-called "Modern Makonde Art" (e.g. Samaki, Dastani, Chanuo, Karinto and others) are no longer alive. George Lilanga died on June 27, 2005 at the age of 70 in Dar es Salaam. The HMC: George Lilianga Collection has dedicated a systematic catalog raisonn´e to the artist.
Makonde carving reached its peak from the 1960s to the early 1990s. After that, a number of the influential carvers had died and there were (and still are) only a few successors who still master the art of carving in comparable quality and expressiveness. (quoted from Wikipedia)
I acquired the sculptures shown below on my travels in Tanzania before 1985 and are for sale.