My friend Zinha, from Monapo, showed me the process of making mussiro: First, she rubs the stick on the rock, adding water and forming a paste.
Next, she applies the paste on her face.
When the paste dries, it becomes tighter and more solid. Zinha would leave the mussiro mask on for an entire day. Later, she would wash it off with water and her skin would be softer and clearer.
My students Emília, Arcélia and Ilda gave a Tufo performance at a girls' conference in Inhambane Province. They were very aware that they were representing Nampula province and so they were sure to wear mussiro, so everyone would know they are Macua.
Video: Tufo on Ilha
This is a photo from Indico magazine. This is a Kimwani girl on Ibo Island, Cabo Delgado. As you can see, the design of her mussiro is more intricate than the pictures from Nampula.
A language close to Macua is also spoken in the Comoros Islands and Mayotte. The women there make a mask out of sandalwood, called msinzano. Again, the intricate designs distinguish other groups from the Macua style. But the tradition comes from a common culture and makes the women in this area of the world stand out.
For images of other ethnic groups in traditional dress:
Nosso aluno Alvido, usando uma mascara facial de América.