Psikelekedana Softwood Carvings - Daily Life in Mozambique
The trademark folk art form of Santo Damásio in Mozambique is Psikelekedana, a type of softwood carving made from the wood of the cashew nut tree. Dino (Camordino Mustafá Jetha) began to learn to carve at the age of 18 from an elderly neighbor who was a master of the craft. Dino learned to join the figures to a base in order to create scenes of daily life, and customs and traditions such as weddings, and Chiguiana, the after-wedding ceremony for receiving gifts. He received further training from Aid to Artisans and has participated in exhibitions in Maputo as well as participating in the National Fair organized by Centro de Estudos e Desenvolvimento de Artesanato (CEDARTE).
(Notes courtesy of Santa Fe International Folk Art Market).
Among the more dramatic subjects in Dino's work is the catastrophic flooding which has periodically engulfed Mozambique, notably in 2000. In the piece Cheias Nascimento da Rosita (Flood- Birth of Rosita), shown below, he depicts an actual incident during the floods of 2000. In the village of Xai-Xai a woman named Sophia Tedro had to take refuge in a tree and actually gave birth there. Eventually she and her baby Rositha were rescued from the tree by the South African Defence forces in a helicopter, as shown in the photos below.