Tanzania  (Africa)

Tanzania. The Makonde are an ethnic group in south-east Tanzania and northern Mozambique. They are well known to their carvings of traditional household objects, figures and masks. Their chess sets are very recognizable with the headdress King, Queen and Bishops have, the giraffe as Knight and the traditional hut as Rook. Sets can be heads only, busts or whole bodies. Well known are sets where the pawns are pipe smoking or drumming tribesmen, but such are not in my collection.

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  • Tanzania, by Makonde
  • 1970
  • Wood K 7.2+7.9; p 5.1-5.6
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  • Tanzania, Dar-es-Salaam, by Makonde
  • 1973
  • Wood K 10.7; p 7.8
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Note the reversed headdress of King and Bishop!

  • Tanzania, by Makonde
  • 1975
  • Quercus ilex? + ebony K 8.1; p 5.6

Tanzania. Animals like apes or birds are loved themes as well.

Some say that the sets from Mozambique are better carved as sets from Tanzania. At least do they have more decoration. I'm not that convinced about that theory. See Mozambique page.

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  • Tanzania, by Makonde
  • 1980
  • Quercus ilex? + ebony K 8.4; p 4.1
  • Board Ø 35.5
  • Tanzania, by Makonde
  • 1980
  • Quercus ilex? + ebony K 6.2; p 3.9
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  • Tanzania, by Makonde
  • 1980
  • Quercus ilex? + ebony/African blackwood K 6.2; p 4.9