MENDE ART, Sierra Leone


 

MENDE
Masks 1

 

MENDE
Masks 2

 

MENDE
Costume 1 / SOLD



 MENDE
Figures

 MENDE
Objects

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

MENDE ART, Sierra Leone

Bundu (or Sande), a women's association, is almost unique in Africa in that it controls the use of these masks, which embody Sowo, their guardian spirit. The masks usually include an elaborate hairstyle and attempt to represent serene feminine beauty, with high foreheads, small, compressed facial features, and voluminous neck-rings, depicting the desirable full-figured woman. Originally all had a dark raffia collarand were worn with a full, dark costume of raffia on cloth.

Mende figures are less well known than their helmet masks.

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