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Tribal art > African mask > Mende Mask

Mende Mask (N° 24857) Deposit sale

In African art among the Mende, sowei masks embody aquatic spirits. This ancient African mask called bundu offers a braided hairstyle forming a unique assembly. The face sinks into rings of flesh, a feminine ideal linked to prosperity.
Painted black or tinted with a leaf wash, the mask was then rubbed with palm oil. Soft, satiny patina, erosions and desication> The Mende, Vai and Gola cultures of Sierra Leone, Liberia and the west coast of Guinea are known for the helmet masks of the female initiation society Sandé which prepares young girls for the marriage . The male society is the Poro society. Relatively rare in sub-Saharan Africa, these masks are made by men and worn by women.
To close the rituals, a "spirit" appears, wearing this mask lined with long fibers of raffia, and waving a whip in order to chase away malevolent spirits and sorcerers.

("African art" Kerchache and "African masks from the Barbier-Mueller collection" coll. Adam Biro)  


This item is sold with its certificate of authenticity

Estimated shipping cost

OriginColl .française Prodhomme
Height cm35
Width20 cm
Weight1.65 Kg
Socle inclusOptional

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