Makonde Figural Spoon, Tanzania or Mozambique
height 20 3/4in (52.7cm)
Private Collection, New York
According to Robbins and Nooter (1984: p. 516), "Among the Makonde, female figures are said to represent the matriarchal founder of the group. Some figures, both male and female, are used in initiation rites. Figured staffs are emblems of prestige."
Most likely a ceremonial spoon, having a large circular bowl and a long shaft terminating in an elegantly and carved female figure with her arms to her side and delicate, raised scarification on the torso and face, accenting her tranquil expression; fine dark encrusted patina.