Project Description

17-380 Mende Sande Society Helmet Mask (sowei)

Gola, Liberia

This mask is multi-faceted and bears a full carved bust atop the coiffure. Heightened neck rings appear on the small bust as well as the main helmet of the mask. The hairstyle is very elaborately carved and there
are fine examples of traditional scarification overall. The swooping lines around the side faces seem serpentine in origin. The elegant hairstyles and multi-faces on Mende masks symbolize the importance of social cooperation, since a woman needs the help of her friends to dress her hair.