Project Description

The coiffure of this mask features several geometric elements crested by two carved bird figures.  The birds are seemingly intertwined, with one facing forward and the other backward.  Birds are often depicted as symbols of a woman’s intuition by the Mende, but more universally across many African cultures, they are portrayed as messengers between spirits and humans.

All of the Sowei/Bundu Masks in this exhibition were collected and donated to our museum by Dr. Pascal J. Imperato and Eleanor M. Imperato.