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Joseph Singombe's Art December 22 2017, 0 Comments

Joseph Singombe is a renowned Makonde Artist, born and raised in Tanzania.  He is a master artist and his sculptures are distinguished and unique.  Joseph has been carving since the age of 8.   He learned the craft from his father.  Joseph says, “art runs in my blood, because my father was also an artist”. Wood Sculpture of the Makonde people of Tanzania is widely known and generally there is a high regard for the Makonde as skilled, creative and imaginative sculptors.  Joseph’s art work is held in prestigious museums and galleries throughout the world. Makonde sculptures are three-dimensional works of art carved from a medium of solid ebony wood. Today the modern sculpture has three distinct styles: Shetani (spirit/devil) Ujamaa (Family Tree) and Mawingu (clouds/abstract).  Well known sculptors are associated with the origins of these styles and Joseph’s father is one of them. Joseph is well known in all the three distinct styles mentioned above.  For this article we will look at Joseph’s art work – “The UJAMAA Sculpture” (Family Tree).  Joseph Singombe @ work The Ujamaa sculpture in picture took him 4 months to carve.  Joseph mainly uses traditionally made tools; the chisel is his best friend. The UJAMAA...

Makonde Art Work October 09 2015, 0 Comments

The Makonde are an ethnic group in Southeast Tanzania and northern Mozambique. Makonde Art is best known in the ebony medium.  All our ebony sculptures are hand carved by members of the Makonde tribe.  They are internationally famous for their unique wood work; that is why this artwork is called Makonde.   The Makonde were the first to create abstracts that were later imitated by other artists worldwide, such as Picasso.  Because of their geographical isolation, the Makonde were not influenced by the colonial period.  They have remained nearly out of reach of changes that have taken place in the country since independence.  Their relative isolation has resulted in their high degree of ethnic self-awareness.  The Makonde have been practicing their artwork for over 500 years.   Mzee Beda at Work – All the while his hands work busily, his eyes never leave the sculpture. All the tools used by Mzee Beda and all the other Makonde carvers is traditionally handmade by them.   What makes the ebony wood unique is that the core of the tree is charcoal black and the bark is light brown. Ebony is the hardest wood to carve and it is so dense that it...