Makonde is a Bantu language spoken in southeastern Tanzania and northern Mozambique. It is closely related to Swahili, and its speakers are known as the Makonde people. Makonde is a tonal language, with two tones (high and low). It has a complex system of noun classes, and its verbs are marked for aspect and mood.
The Makonde people are best known for their wood carving, which is an important part of their culture. Makonde carving is characterized by its intricate geometric patterns and its use of negative space. Makonde artists often carve scenes from everyday life, as well as animals and mythical creatures.
The Makonde language is in danger of becoming extinct, as its speakers are increasingly using Swahili instead. There are only about 1 million Makonde speakers left, and the language is not being passed down to the younger generation. If something is not done to preserve the language, it is likely that Makonde will be lost forever.