MENDE, BUNDU HELMET MASKS 2, Sierra Leone

TEMNE
Mask 71
15 -31" high
mid.- late 20th C.
$1200

MENDE
Mask 75
14 - 30" high
first half 20th C.
$500

MENDE
Mask 77
14 - 28" high
first half 20th C.
$800

Photographs © Hamill Gallery

MENDE, BUNDU HELMET MASKS, Sierra Leone

These masks have been vetted as authentic, dating from the early to late 20th Century (each is identified).

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

The first height listed is for the mask alone; the second is for the mask plus the raffia collar. The raffia collars can be tucked inside the masks if they are not on display. Condition reports are on each individual page.

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 collar and were worn with a full, dark costume of raffia on cloth.

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