Cultural Heritage
SANAA Issue No. 3, May 2010
Gallery Concert Spotlight:
In March, Taarab musicians gave Arusha audience members a night to remember.
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Special Exhibitions: Reinard Kunkel and Mieke van Grinsven
Photography and Sculptures, this June
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Arusha Arts Festival
The Arusha Arts Collaborative puts on an event that is the first of its kind in Arusha.
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Zanzibar Treat
Artist and historian, John Baptist Da Silva comes to Arusha.
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What's NEW! in Books, Music and Fashion....
Reviews of the latest available local media and fashion at OneWay and the Spice Centre.
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Kids ‘N’ Art
Kids in Gallery
Workshop with Kenyan artist brings local students to the Gallery.
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Makonde Masterpiece Thereafter, inevitably there was a change both in the function and style of the carvings, including the sale of their crafts-work becoming an important means for income. Ironically, it was this economic factor that largely funded the Makonde revolution in the 1960's which drove
Stretching twelve feet to the sky and inhaling a circumference of nearly ten feet, one of the largest Makonde wood sculptures now greets visitors on the terrace as they enter the Gallery at Cultural Heritage. Carved from a single trunk, it curves upward with interconnecting figures carrying pots on their heads, holding calabash bottles in their hands and otherwise proceeding with the routine of everyday life (see right). It represents one of the many styles of this authentically East African art form and is quite a sight to behold.

Traditionally using the native mpingo or ebony wood, carving lies at the heart of the Makonde ethnic group who now live mainly in southeast Tanzania and northeast Mozambique. Amongst their traditional styles, the unique male initiation ritual masks are most well known, but throughout their history they also carved female ancestor worship statues and body masks with breasts, pregnant torsos, reflecting the importance

of women in their matrilineal society.

Due to the relative isolation of the Makonde they were able to avoid colonization until the 1920's.
Artist the colonial Portuguese out of Mozambique. By the 1950's, three distinct styles of Modern Makonde Art had been developed. Shetani, which means 'little devil' in Swahili, are carvings of creatures that mimic forms of humans or animals. Elongated bodies and faces are common characteristics of this style, and despite the title, the spirits they represent are not always mischievous.

Another style of Modern Makonde Art is dimingo, meaning strength in Bantu, and is represented most grandly by the sculpture sitting outside the Gallery. Characterized by poles of interconnected people displaying everyday activities, (continued on Page 3)

Top right: Carver working on dimingo sculpture at Cultural Heritage’s onsite workshop.

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