Konde Mapiko Mask
The Mapiko masquerade of the Konde, masks are worn by the male initiates who, when masked, becomet the mapiko, a figure of fear.  The male initiation rites are held in secret but the celebration is public.  During the masquerade, the mapiko is in the center while on either side of him is a row of unmarried women.  The men, who are bare-chested to show off their strong bodies and tattoos, dance in grass skirts. 

As the dance begins, the men dance shoulder to shoulder towards Mapiko, while shouting ill words and gesturing threateningly at him.  With confidence, the chanting men advance. Mapiko does not budge and the men suddenly lose their confidence and retreat back to the musicians, and began leaping and screaming loudly.  Mapiko then chases after them, but before he reaches them he turns around and frantically shakes his entire body and rattles the bells on his costume.  The announcement of the mapiko by the drums causes the women who are slowly dancing around him to drop their heads towards the ground so as not to look at the fearful figure.  They do not break their rhythm and continue to move their heads and shoulders to the beat of the drum.  The women raise their heads once Mapiko moves away . 

The masquerade serves as a means of social control by mocking anti-social behavior.  (RF)

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