I think that these are just a beautiful thing to behold. They are loving and realistic carvings of one of the great miracles of life!
This one measures about 21 x 9 inches. It is strung in the back with a jute cord so it can be hung on the wall - where they look tremendous, by the way!
The body masks celebrate the return of young men to the village after they have been initiated into adult life. The men who wear them cover their faces with a mask of a feminine face. They represent pregnant women. The feminine mask dances with great composure while a masculine mask dramatizes the pains of childbirth. An orchestra of drummers accompanies the dances.
A little more about the Makonde: Inhabiting the southeast of Tanzania and the northeast of Mozambique are about 500,000 Makonde, divided into matrilineal clans, each one comprising several villages. Decisions are made by a chief supported by a council. Clan members meet only for the ancestral cult and to celebrate initiations. According to legend, shortly after the Creation, the first man, wandering around outside the bush, sculpted a female figure out of wood, and the statue became a real woman who gave him many children and, after her death, became the venerated ancestress of the Makonde. This accounts for the ancestress cult as well as the profusion of sculpted female figures, kept in huts. In the traditional homelands of the Makonde the primary source of food comes from slash and burn farming. Crops include maize, sorghum, and cassava. This is often supplemented by hunting.
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For more of these wonderful things check out the home section of our shop.
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This amazing pouf or floor pillow is made from vintage Handiras aka Moroccan wedding blankets. This is a full on piece of furniture stuffed firm with shredded foam.
They are woven as a dowry for brides. The blanket is handloomed with a field in off white and white stripes with tufty stripes and awesome geometrically patterned lines of sequins. Made of cotton In excellent condition. It measures 25 x 25 x 9 inches and it is stuffed fine shredded foam. The pouf will come with a bigger pillow than th eone shown, it will be more filled out. It is comfy!
Old handiras and things made from old handiras are becoming increasingly rare. The quality of the ones produced now don't compare to these.
Moroccan wedding blankets are woven in natural undyed wool and cotton, often decorated with woven pattern bands of very pretty and colourful talismanic symbols. The numerous sequins give the Handira the finishing touch but are not solemnly esthetical. They are considered to ware of the evil eye and to protect. They also reflect the sun light during the day and the glow of fire at night.
A bride wears her Tamizart as part of her dowry when she is carried to the house of the groom. According to old tradition it is highly unusual that the bride walks, she is carried on the back of a mule to her new home. During this journey a small procession of family and friends of the bride sing about her dowry and the gifts that she brings for her new family.
For more great Moroccan Wedding Blanket pillows and other pillows from around the world check out the pillows section of our shop:
A huge and superbly painted painted hand carved wooden jaguar masks from Oaxaca. This is a tradition form of folk art in Oaxaca. These vibrantly painted animals are called Alebrijes. This one measures about 10X10"
These amazing throw pillows are made from by Berber women of Morocco. They are not pieces of old rugs but have been woven as pillow cases. Made of wool and in excellent condition. This one measures 12 x 13 inches