Likomba Mask 2

African artifacts part of the collection on display at the Mortvedt Library likomba-mask
Likomba 2

Artist: Unknown Makonde artist

Name: Likomba (pl. makomba; sometimes also called lipiko) face mask

Origin: Makonde people of Northeast Mozambique and Southern Tanzania

Made of: Wood (ntene), human hair, beeswax, natural pigment

Dimensions: Height: 10¼ in (26 cm), width: 7¼ in (18.4 cm), depth: 4¼ in (10.7 cm)

From: Gift of Dr. Oliver E. and Pamela F. Cobb, 2009

Accession no. 2009.02.003

On display in PLU’s Mortvedt Library (2nd floor)


Description: A facemask carved from a singe piece of wood and decorated with life-like human hair that may suggest braiding, with darker tinted lips, and a carved lip plug or labret. The holes that can be observed along the edge of the mask would have been used to secure raffia or other materials to the mask as part of the costume to help conceal the wearer’s identity.