MENDE MASK 42

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

MENDE
BUNDU HELMET MASK 42
15.5" high
$1200

This mask has been vetted as authentic, dating from the late 19th or early 20th Century.

This mask was vetted by Daniel Mato, author (with Charles Miller III) of Sande, masks and statues from Liberia and Sierra-Leone.

This old mask has visible wood loss on the top, hair and face and a long stapled crack, now stable, in the view above. there is a small , stable crack below the right eye (see deatil below). The interior has been darkened.

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. Those with a full or partial raffia collar can be seen on Mende Masks 2.



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