Sowei (Helmet mask) - ROM2016_15225_5


Sowei (Helmet mask)

Maker: Unidentified Mende artist or workshop
Geography: Sierra Leone
Date: 19th-early 20th century
49 x 28 x 30.5 cm
Object number: 958.178.1
On view
Gallery Location:Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific
DescriptionThis carved wood helmet mask was worn by members of the Sande women’s society of the Mende people of Sierra Leone in diverse ritual occasions and particularly during the initiation of young women into adulthood. The design elements of the mask – narrow, closed eyes, delicate lips and slender nose, smooth forehead and elaborate coiffure – reflect aesthetic values as well as philosophical and religious concepts.
Global Africa
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