Lower Zambezi National Park – Hippoland
Masks Of Zambia
The art of mask-making is one of Africa’s most revered, diverse and fascinating traditions, one that has deeply influenced 20th century artistic movements like cubism, fauvism and expressionism. Taj Pamodzi celebrates this unique heritage with a striking ‘Mask Wall’ near the lobby of the hotel. Guests are drawn to the exotic art, crafted from materials like wood, feathers and natural sisal fibre. Each mask has a genealogy and is a study in the tribal cultures of the country, from the cikunga, a symbol of leadership worn by the chieftains of the Chowke tribe to the complex nyau yolemba – large basketwork structures representing animals– worn by the Chewas. Our Concierge Desk is only too happy to guide you through the amazing stories and traditions behind the masks. Kids and adults alike are regaled with tales of the makishi masquerade, a unique pantomime performance at the end of the mukanda initiation ceremony for young boys in the western provinces of Zambia, where each mask represents a virtue or personality.