Definition of Makonde in English:



  • 1A member of a people inhabiting southern Tanzania and north-eastern Mozambique.

    • ‘He saw a photograph of a sculpture by the Makonde of East Africa.’
    • ‘I could only surmise that these Makonde had taken Swahili names to ease their assimilation into coastal society, creating confusion among non-resident park officials.’
    • ‘Throughout the late colonial period, many Makonde fled the Portuguese regime, taking refuge in what was then Tanganyika across the Rovuma River border.’
    • ‘One of the most important events in the life of a Makonde was initiation.’
    • ‘Farther north are the Makonde near the coast and the Yao near Lake Malawi.’
  • 2mass noun The Bantu language of the Makonde, with about 1 million speakers.

    • ‘The existence of a standardized orthography for either Yao or Makonde is unknown to us as of this writing.’


  • Relating to the Makonde or their language.

    • ‘A white-jacketed Makonde waiter brought plates mounded with chicken and rice cooked over a fire.’
    • ‘The Makonde practice initiation ceremonies that integrate young people into the adult world through links with ancestors and supernatural beings.’
    • ‘As you will see on this website, their is much more to Makonde art then these traditional Mapiko masks.’
    • ‘This powerful Makonde mask with large rabbit ears, oval eyes and prominent teeth measures 16 1/2’ in height.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, in speaking to the world beyond, Makonde carvers employ a language of images grounded in their unique historical experience.’
    • ‘These artists came to enjoy privileged status in Makonde society as demand grew within the church for their work.’


The name in Makonde.