Bayly Museum


Book ID 570

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Bayly Museum, 1993
Extract Date: 1993

Makonde, Tanzania: Wood


A Web-based exhibit from the Bayly Museum and our first Web resource, developed in November 1993, in HTML 1.0. Including:

Makonde, Tanzania


A modern style of sculpture made for the European export market, this piece depicts a 'tree of life' motif: the members of an extended family, including past and present generations, gently supporting each other, generation after generation, around the family ancestor. The naturalism of the human figures, the sculpture's polished finish, and the choice of wood (ebony) were originally dictated by the European tourist trade of the 1950s. The artistic unity, imagination, and delicate detail of the piece on display all indicate its high quality. Although thoroughly modern in style, without any known basis in traditional Makonde art, the subject matter of this sculpture is entirely indigenous.

Gift of Mrs. Nancy Gray, 1981.94.75

Extract ID: 1488